'The Interview' Will Be Shown in NYC Theater, But Not In the Way You'd Expect
Ah, America. Home of the Free, Land of the Brave, and Country That Will Produce and Watch Any Movie It Wants To, Hackers or No Hackers. We should really get that tacked onto the national saying, you guys. In any event, it's old news by this point that Sony canceled the premiere of The Interview in theaters across the country in response to terrifying threats from a hacker group known as the Guardians of Peace. This concession to avoid the "9/11"-esque bombings the hacker group was promising if the movie was released has been widely criticized by the general public, and Sony has promised that the film will be distributed in some form if not in theaters. Here comes one such form. A New York City theater is doing a live read of The Interview, which is the closest we'll come to actually seeing the film in theaters.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Treehouse Theater in NYC will be using the film's screenplay as the basis for a live show two days after Christmas. The event listing reads, "In the wake of recent events surrounding the controversial film The Interview, the feeling that a threat to free speech has been imposed is inescapable and terrifying. This is an opportunity for people to come together in the name of free speech, in defiance of all who have threatened it."
It's unclear at this point if the Treehouse Theater will be able to go forward with this plan, however. While the event is set on the theater website's calendar, and is free of charge for anyone planning to go, there seem to be two snags with it already. In the first place, the Treehouse doesn't have Sony's permission for this event nor have they heard anything from the company about it at all. In the second place, according to artistic director Rob Reese, improvisor Benny Scheckner is the one who conceived of the project and brought them a draft of the film's script that Reese admits he has no idea how, or from where, Scheckner received it. I don't know about you, but that sounds a bit sketchy to me.
Regardless, if the Treehouse Theater's plans go off without a hitch, then anyone in the NYC area can head over there and see Scheckner, Dave Hensley and Sean Perrotta perform the live reading of The Interview — immediately followed by a comedy show to benefit the people of North Korea. The general sentiment here is clear. Freedom of speech and expression is an American right and should be treated as such, but that doesn't mean that they, or we, are purposefully trying to disrespect North Korea with comedic parody. At least, that seems to be what they're going for, anyway.
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