Arts & Entertainment

'The Interview' to get only limited release in Asia

In this Nov. 29, 2013 file photo, actor James Franco, left, yawns before filming a scene with an actor playing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the movie
In this Nov. 29, 2013 file photo, actor James Franco, left, yawns before filming a scene with an actor playing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the movie "The Interview," at Robson Square in Vancouver, British Columbia. The film will reportedly get only limited release in Asia.
Darryl Dyck/AP

James Franco and Seth Rogen's dark comedy "The Interview," in which a pair of entertainment journalists are recruited to assassinate the leader of North Korea, will not get wide release in Asia.

According to Variety, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan spokesman confirmed the movie will not be released in Japan, and the film’s website indicates that within the Asia Pacific region it will only be released in Australia and New Zealand.

Much attention is being paid to the film in the wake of a massive cyberattack against Sony, which included leaks of sensitive and embarrassing internal emails, employees' personal information and entire films.

Some have speculated North Korea was behind those attacks in retaliation for the Sony film.

(Spoiler alert! Skip this paragraph if you don't want to know how the movie ends.) Bloomberg reports, and KPCC’s John Horn, who has seen the film, confirms that Kim indeed dies in the end. A toned-down death scene was approved by Sony Corp. CEO Kazuo Hirai, who requested that filmmakers don’t include North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s exploding face in versions released outside the United States, according to emails that were among the 33,000 documents leaked to the Internet in the cyberattack.

There were signs Wednesday that tensions around the film’s release are being felt locally, too.

According to AP, Sony Pictures said Wednesday that no broadcast media will be invited to cover the film's red carpet Thursday in Los Angeles and no interviews will be granted to print reporters at the screening. A spokeswoman would not comment on the reason.