Sony Pictures has recently announced that the controversial movie The Interview will be available online through Google Play, YouTube Movies, Xbox Video, and via a dedicated web page (SeeTheInterview.com). The film will cost viewers $5.99 to rent, and $14.99 to own (HD copy).
Notably absent from the list is iTunes, which is a bummer especially for owners of iPhones, iPads, and other iOS devices everywhere. Despite involvement from the White House (Sony Pictures had reportedly asked the White House for help), Apple continues to refuse to stream the movie. Aside from Apple, others like Amazon and Sony's own PlayStation Network have also declined to carry the film.
Still, having the movie available on Google Play and YouTube Movies certainly classifies as a win, not only for the filmmakers and Sony Pictures, but also for those who want to see movie.
In a somewhat playful tweet, Google even remarked that its mission was to make all information accessible to all, even movies made by Seth Rogen. Google further explained in another statement that after discussing it with Sony Pictures, the two companies ultimately decided they could not just sit idly by and allow a few people to define the limits of free speech, no matter how silly the content in question is.
Now that The Interview is available online, there is a good chance to more distributors will follow suit. There are reports suggesting that Netflix is next on the list, and might potentially offer the film on stream in the coming days or weeks.
Even iTunes is not totally out of the question. Despite their refusal, Apple did state “at least not a speedy time table,” which means that The Interview could be available down the road, eventually.
Quite understandably, Sony Pictures is more than pleased with this latest development. Indeed, it has not been an easy road for Sony in trying to release The Interview. Back in June, the North Korean government threatened action against the United States if the movie gets released (the film's plot involved assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un). Because of this, the movie's release date was pushed from October 10th to December 25th. Then last month, Sony's computer systems were hacked by a cybercrime group with ties to North Korea, leaking sensitive information. On December 16th, the same group threatened terrorist attacks against theaters that showed the film. In the interest of safety, major US cinema chains had canceled their screenings.
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