After canceling The Interview in the wake of the recent hack attack and following threats received from hackers, Sony was able to release it around Christmas Day, as originally planned, partnering up with various theaters. But at the same time, Sony also partnered with Microsoft and Google to quickly for a simultaneous release online and in theaters, which is unprecedented for a movie of this size.
The movie will be available in select theaters, but also online, streaming on Xbox consoles, Windows Phones and Windows 8 computers, or on any other computer or smart device that has access to YouTube or Google Play.
Both Microsoft and Google explained why they decided to stream the movie that angered North Korea so much, a comedy whose plot is built around the assassination of the country’s leader.
Microsoft said in a statement that it’s basically defending anyone’s right to see the movie in the U.S., but not endorsing its contents.
“A cyber-attack on anyone’s rights is a cyber-attack on everyone’s rights, and together we need to defend against it,” Microsoft said.
“In the United States, freedom of expression is a fundamental principle that is protected by law. Our Constitution guarantees for each person the right to decide what books to read, what movies to watch, and even what games to play. In the 21st Century, there is no more important place for that right to be exercised than on the Internet. After substantial thought, we decided to stand up with Sony and work with others to ensure that freedom of expression triumphs over cyber-terrorism.”
Google posted a similar message on its official blog.
“Last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we’d be able to make their movie, The Interview, available online,” Google said. “We’d had a similar thought and were eager to help—though given everything that’s happened, the security implications were very much at the front of our minds.”
“Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be).”
Apple is yet to release the movie on iTunes.