Sony cancels the Dec. 25 release of ‘The Interview’

Sony cancels release of 'The Interview'
Sony cancels release of 'The Interview'   

Sony said on Wednesday it would not release the controversial film "The Interview" as planned on Dec. 25, citing theater chains' plans not to show the movie.

"We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome," Sony said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear from Sony's statement whether it would seek another outlet for the movie. Variety reported earlier Wednesday that the studio might the release the film for video-on-demand viewing in homes.

The decision came after top theater chains in the United States decided not to show the film.

"Due to wavering support of the film 'The Interview' by Sony Pictures, as well as the ambiguous nature of any real or perceived security threats, Regal Entertainment Group has decided to delay the opening of the film in our theatres," the cinema group said in a statement.

Bow Tie and Carmike also confirmed that they will not be showing the film on the planned release day of Dec. 25, as did AMC.

The Canadian theater group Cineplex said in a statement that "after careful consideration of this unprecedented and complex situation," it will "postpone presentation of the Sony pictures movie, 'The Interview.' Cineplex takes seriously its commitment to the freedom of artistic expression, but we want to reassure our guests and staff that their safety and security is our No. 1 priority."

Earlier on Wednesday, Re/code reported that the film's New York premiere was canceled.

A group that claimed responsibility for the massive computer hack at Sony Pictures in early December demanded the company cancel the release of the film, a comedy which depicts an assassination plot against North Korea's leader.