The dog in the night-time: somebody is making explicit threats against the United States of America over a silly movie but, unless I’ve missed it (other than the routine, obligatory FBI investigation) nobody in Washington seems to care. From Variety:
The Sony hackers have threatened a 9/11-like attack on movie theaters that screen Seth Rogen and James Franco’s North Korean comedy “The Interview,” substantially escalating the stakes surrounding the release of the movie.
“The world will be full of fear,” the message reads. “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”
One would like to think that the aces in Foggy Bottom would be all over this, sending quiet signals to North Korea that a “9/11”-style attack would be met with the strongest possible (i.e. incinerating) response, but Secretary Kerry is probably too busy trying to bring the Israelis to heel to worry about such things.
There have been suspicions that the attack may have been launched by North Korea in retaliation for “The Interview’s” depiction of an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un. The country has denied involvement but praised the attacks.
The note also threatens people who attend the premiere of “The Interview.” A New York premiere of the film is scheduled to take place Thursday at Sunshine Cinema and has already been scaled down, according to a report in the New York Post. A special screening of the film took place in Los Angeles last week without incident.
Memo to Washington: we in Hollywood will be very, very upset if the Norks nuke the Hollywood Sign.
UPDATE: According to the Daily Beast, Washington green-lighted the film’s ending:
The Daily Beast has unearthed several emails that reveal at least two U.S. government officials screened a rough cut of the Kim Jong-Un assassination comedy The Interview in late June and gave the film—including a final scene that sees the dictator’s head explode—their blessing.
The claim that the State Department played an active role in the decision to include the film’s gruesome death scene is likely to cause fury in Pyongyang. Emails between the Sony Entertainment CEO and a security consultant even appear to suggest the U.S. government may support the notion that The Interview would be useful propaganda against the North Korean regime.