Christmas Day moviegoers can add The Interview back to their potential watch list. Less than a week after announcing it was pulling the film after a terrorist threat prompted the country’s biggest theater companies to cancel their Christmas Day premiers, Sony is backtracking and has said it will authorize screenings of the comedy.
“We have never given up on releasing ‘The Interview,’ and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day,” Sony Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Tim League, founder of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, reported on Twitter that the theater chain will be making Christmas Day showings of The Interview available immediately. Atlanta’s Plaza Theater also said on Twitter that it would show the film.
The impending release of the comedy, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco and depicts the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, caused a massive hacking of sensitive Sony data. The U.S. has said North Korea was “centrally involved” in the hacking and the country’s internet went down on both Monday and Tuesday, although it is unclear who was behind the outages.
After theater companies including Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Carmike Cinemas canceled their scheduled openings due to the threat, Sony made the decision to pull the release of the film. But just days later, the company said it was looking into alternate ways of releasing the comedy.
“[We are] actively surveying alternatives to enable us to release the movie on a different platform,” the company said in a statement. “It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.”
Sony’s reversal comes after President Barack Obama criticized the company on Friday for its decision to pull the movie from theaters. Obama said in his end-of-year press conference he believed Sony “made a mistake” by canceling the Christmas Day premiere of the film.
CNN is reporting that YouTube has tentatively agreed to make The Interview available for rental on Christmas Day. Sony is also in talks with other streaming websites including the Google Play store and Sony’s own website.