Just like Ebenezer Scrooge, Sony is rejecting its Yuletide parsimony after receiving a harsh message from a tall, gaunt stranger. The studio has apparently decided to un-cancel The Interview, allowing selected independent theaters to open the film on Christmas Day. Also, The Wrap reports the movie will premiere on video on demand that same day. Already Atlanta's Plaza Theater and the Alamo Drafthouse chain have indicated on Twitter that they will brave the terror threats and screen the movie. Either Sony has no idea what it's doing or this is a masterful, three-dimensional chess scheme to turn a middling buddy comedy into the biggest film of the winter.
After the news broke, Seth Rogen and James Franco celebrated on Twitter:
The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed! Sony didn't give up! The Interview will be shown at theaters willing to play it on Xmas day!— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) December 23, 2014
VICTORY!!!!!!! The PEOPLE and THE PRESIDENT have spoken!!! SONY to release THE INTERVIEW in theaters… http://t.co/0KyZQAB6cf— James Franco (@JamesFrancoTV) December 23, 2014
UPDATE: Barack Obama is happy, too! As the White House said in a statement:
The president applauds Sony's decision to authorize screenings of the film. As the president made clear, we're a country that believes in free speech and the right of artistic expression. The decision made by Sony and participating theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film and we welcome that outcome.