It looks like Austinites will get the chance to see The Interview after all. Tim League, founder of the Alamo Drafthouse, tweeted on Tuesday morning that the company is working on scheduling Christmas Day screenings:
Breaking news: Sony has authorized screenings of THE INTERVIEW on Christmas Day. We are making shows available within the hour. #Victory— Tim League (@timalamo) December 23, 2014
"At 10:45 am, Sony bookers approved screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and other arthouse and independent theaters across the country," League announced in a press release on Tuesday. "This is the best Christmas gift anyone could give us. We, both distributors and exhibitors, have collectively stood firm to our principles and for the right to freedom of expression. Two days til Christmas and I am proud to be an American."
Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked in late November and virtual piles of personal employee information and unreleased movie screeners were released online in retaliation for The Interview, a comedic satire starring director Seth Rogen and James Franco that chronicles an assassination attempt on a North Korean dictator. The FBI later announced that it believes North Korea was behind the cyber attacks, which the country denies (although North Korea still really doesn't like the movie).
As a result, major theater chains in the United States decided not to show the movie, but Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse was adamant about moving forward with its screenings. Unfortunately, Sony pulled the entire Christmas Day distribution.
The decision to pull the film garnered lots of negative feedback from film fans, independent theater chains such as the Drafthouse, and politicos like President Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich. Gingrich even advocated for releasing it free online.
Sony then reassured the country that it would figure out some way to show the film. "Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed. How it's going to be distributed, I don't think anybody knows quite yet. But it's going to be distributed," Sony's lawyer David Boies told NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday.
The giant media company honored its promises when it gave Alamo Drafthouse and other independent outlets the green light to screen The Interview. "We cannot imagine the pressures that have been affecting Sony, at all levels of the organization they have been under attack," League said. "Amidst this unwarranted chaos, they have regrouped and listened to the public, the government and the exhibition community and responded with resolve and determination."
People appear to be taking the news of the release well. Although North Korea denies being the source of the cyber attacks, patriotic jokes at its expense abound. Even the CEO and editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune chimed in:
.@drafthouse 1, Kim Jong-zero— Evan Smith (@evanasmith) December 23, 2014
The Interview will screen at the following Austin-area Drafthouse locations on December 25:
- Alamo Drafthouse Ritz: 1 pm, 4 pm
- Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline: 11:25 pm, 12:20 am (December 26)
- Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane: 11:50 pm
- Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar: 11:30 pm, 11:40 pm
More showtimes for The Interview can be found on the Drafthouse website.