Sony streams North Korea comedy online

AFP , Wednesday 24 Dec 2014

Entertainment giant Sony released "The Interview" -- a movie that outraged North Korea by lampooning dictator Kim Jong-Un -- online for US viewers on Wednesday.

The madcap comedy became available for rent in the United States from 1800 GMT on several platforms, one day before its Christmas Day limited theatrical release.

It was to be distributed on Google's YouTube for $5.99, on the Google Play app for Android devices and on a dedicated website,, after a brief announcement from the studio.

The future of the film had been in doubt after Sony said last week that it was canceling the release following a hacking attack on its corporate network and threats against moviegoers.

The US government blamed the attack on North Korea, reportedly angry at the film's cartoonish portrayal of Kim's communist regime, and President Barack Obama threatened reprisals.

But Sony also came under fire from the president and from free speech advocates and the studio quickly performed a volte face, vowing to give the film as wide a distribution as possible.

While some US movie theater chains got cold feet after anonymous online threats, a limited number have agreed to show the film from Thursday, alongside the online release.

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