Upon the release of the trailer for Seth Rogen and James Franco‘s The Interview, a film in which the duo play tabloid journalists who land an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un only to have the CIA recruit them to assassinate him, North Korea’s foreign ministry spokesperson responded brusquely: “The act of making and screening such a movie that portrays an attack on our top leadership… is a most wanton act of terror and act of war, and is absolutely intolerable.”
At the time the trailer was released and that comment (and The Hollywood Reporter says Sony is digitally altering the film in a couple of key ways.
First off, sources tell the trade the studio is digitally altering thousands of buttons worn by characters in the film because showcasing military decorations would be considered blasphemous as they honor Kim Jong Un, and his late father, Kim Jong Il.
The larger, more interesting cut may come in the form of the cutting of a scene in which the face of Kim Jong Un (Randall Park) is melted off graphically in slow motion. Studio sources insist Sony Japan isn’t exerting pressure and filmmakers are just trying to gauge whether it’s funny.
Of course, that last line is total bullshit. I’m supposed to believe the people that made This is the End, in which Jonah Hill is anally raped by a demon, are debating whether or not a gruesome face-melting scene is funny? Funny or not, that scene is one of the reasons they made the film.
The Interview was co-directed by Rogen and Evan Goldberg and I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how all of this turns out. The buttons? Big deal. But that face-melting scene? Will we see it or won’t we?