No one ever accused North Korean leader Kim Jong-un of being able to take a joke, which is why it wasn’t too surprising that Sony’s upcoming Seth Rogen and James Franco-led comedy The Interview, in which the pair play a talk show host and his producer who are tapped by the CIA to kill the dictator, ruffled a few feathers. The country claimed outrage and went so far as to lodge an official complaint with the UN, calling The Interview “the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war.”
For a while, it appeared that Sony was taking the heat in stride, and Rogen certainly didn’t seem too upset, simply tweeting, “Apparently Kim Jong Un plans on watching #TheInterview. I hope he likes it!!” Now, however, it appears that the studio is actually taking steps to appease North Korea.
Sony, which recently delayed The Interview from October until Christmas Day, will reportedly be digitally altering the film, starting by changing the military hardware buttons (which honor Kim Jong Un and Kim Jong Il) that are worn by soldiers in The Interview. The incorporation of the buttons is apparently considered to be particularly “blasphemous” by the rogue nation.
More surprisingly, an entire sequence may end up being cut from the movie. In the scene, Kim Jong Un (Randall Park) has his face graphically melted off, Raiders of the Lost Ark style, in slow motion. As you can imagine, that part of The Interview likely won’t go over too well with the dictator, and though Sony maintains that its owner, Japan’s Sony Corp., isn’t exerting any pressure to change the film, a source close to the project confirms that those working on The Interview are trying to figure out whether it’s funny enough to warrant the controversy that would surely come from including it.
Hopefully, any changes made to The Interview won’t effect how funny it is – though we’ll surely get the chance to find out when the inevitable unrated version hits shelves. Theatrically, though, moviegoers will be able to check out The Interview on December 25th.