Sony Pictures has cancelled the Christmas Day release of “The Interview,” after major theatre chains in the U.S. and Canada decided not to show the movie amid hackers’ threats of terrorist attacks. After Cineplex, AMC, Regal Cinemas and Cinemarx announced they won’t be showing the comedy, Sony said it has decided “not to move forward with the planned Dec. 25 theatrical release.” Federal investigators in the U.S. have now connected the Sony hacking to North Korea, an unnamed official told The Associated Press.
Sony Pictures Entertainment is mounting an aggressive defense against the debilitating hack that has pummeled the movie studio for weeks with leaks of sensitive information, but those efforts Tuesday were met with even more threats to damage the company as much as possible. On Tuesday, a group claiming to be responsible for the Sony hack posted a message on text sharing site Pastebin threatening violence against theaters showing the movie ‘The Interview,” a comedy that ends in the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The movie is scheduled to be widely released by Sony Christmas Day.
Sundance isn’t going to know what hit it. Canadian firebrands Guy Maddin and Bruce McDonald are both world-premiering nightmarish new movies next month at Robert Redford’s annual indie filmfest in Park City, Utah. They’re among a brace of Canuck films announced for both the Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 22 — Feb. 1) and its friendly local rival the Slamdance Film Festival (Jan. 23 — 29).
Digital media company Vice is getting into feature films, launching a movie-making joint venture with Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox. Vice Films is looking to work with emerging directors and to make at least two movies a year, at a budget of about $2m. It will also have a first look deal with Fox to develop productions in the $10m to $20m range. Fox, part of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, will provide film development, production and theatrical distribution, while Vice Media will lead the creative development and be responsible for digital distribution. Last year 21st Century Fox bought a 5% share in Vice for $70m.
SIM Group has announced that they have merged with Pixel Underground, one of Toronto’s leading post-production facilities, and its associated companies FINI Films and StationEX. Founded in 2009 by Marc Bachli and Marcus Valentin, Pixel Underground has quickly developed into Toronto’s most modern, file-based post production facility, specializing in color grading, visual effects and online editorial. FINI Films and StationEX provide physical and file-based media fulfillment and distribution services.