by REERA YOO | @reeraboo
Sony Pictures’ The Interview is now available for rent and purchase online, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The controversial comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco became available to rent in HD at 10 a.m. PST on several streaming platforms, including YouTube Movies, Google Play, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and Sony’s own dedicated website at the price of $5.99. The film can also be bought for $14.99.
“It has always been Sony’s intention to have a national platform on which to release the film,” said Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment. “With that in mind, we reached out to Google, Microsoft and other partners last Wednesday, December 17th, when it became clear our initial release plans were not possible. We are please we can now join with our partners to offer the film nationwide today.”
Lynton also noted that Sony Pictures opted to release the film digitally first in order to reach the widest possible audience on opening day.
“It was essential for our studio to release this movie, especially given the assault upon our business and our employees by those who wanted to stop free speech,” he said.
Google officials also released a statement on their blog regarding the digital release.
David Drummund, the company’s senior vp and corporate development and legal chief officer, wrote, “Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sideline and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be).”
On Tuesday, Sony reversed its decision to shelve the movie and announced a limited theatrical release. The comedy is now scheduled to screen at approximately 300 independent theaters across the country, premiering on Christmas Day.
Of course, the lead actors were ecstatic about the news and shared celebratory tweets with fans.
The FBI claims that North Korea was responsible for the cyberattack and threats against Sony Pictures, but some experts have expressed their doubt over the regime’s capability to carry out such an attack.
Photo courtesy of Ed Araquel via THR.