Seth Rogan and Sony Pictures have pushed the envelope when it comes to film production, as their latest movie to be released will not only depict the assassination of a world leader, but will center its theme around an actual leader, Kim Jong-un of North Korea.
Never before has this sort of geopolitical action been taken in the film industry, and Sony executives realized this risk going into production; as the leader of North Korea is alive and well. Turns out the leader does not share the same comedic taste as Seth Rogan and other producers, as he not only disapproves, but has labeled the film “an act of war” and branded some of those involved with its production as terrorists.
The $40 million film that will be released on Christmas day has stirred up emotions between the nuclear-armed country and those it surrounds as well as the United States. Sony’s Japanese chief executive has intervened with production of the film in efforts to relieve some of the tensions built up over the matter. Executives urge producers to scale back the violence in scenes where the ruler is assassinated in emails sent back and forth between them and the producers. Sony has already been attacked and after being hacked, much of their confidential information has been released. Though there is speculation as to who did the hacking, there is no real evidence supporting these suspicions.
While poking fun at another country or political system entertains the public, Sony may have gone too far with this film, as it directly involves an unpredictable real life ruler who is upset and has promised disciplinary action against them. What was supposed to be a cutting edge and innovative production has become a point of conflict, before it has even been released. Though the intent for sure was to provide incentive to watch the film, Rogan and Sony Pictures may have overstepped their boundaries, as the film may possibly affect Japanese negotiations with North Korea and has absolutely angered a powerful ruler. However, the hype has definitely spread the word about the production and I’m interested to see the unfolding of events as the film gets released.