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North Korea Calls the Seth Rogen, James Franco Comedy 'The Interview' an 'Act of War'

June 25, 2014

It turns out that North Korea doesn’t find much humor in a big-screen comedy about the assassination of its leader. The movie The Interview is set to hit theaters in October and stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a talk-show host and his producer who, after landing an interview with Kim Jong Un, are drafted by the CIA to kill him. Today, North Korea released a strongly worded statement through its state-run news agency, saying, “If the United States administration tacitly approves or supports the release of this film, we will take a decisive and merciless countermeasure.” The statement also described the movie as “an act of war that we will never tolerate.” (Sony, the studio behind the movie, had no comment.)

This isn’t the first international dustup over The Interview. Last week, an unofficial North Korean spokesperson slammed the film to the Telegraph, saying, “There is a special irony in this storyline as it shows the desperation of the US government and American society,” although he also added that the North Korean leader would likely watch the movie anyway. Seth Rogen tweeted in response, “I hope he likes it!!”

When the first trailer for the movie premiered earlier this month, Rogen — who co-directed with his This Is the End collaborator Evan Goldberg — spoke to Yahoo Movies and noted how much research actually went into the screenplay. “We read as much as we could that was available on the subject. We talked to the guys from Vice who actually went to North Korea and met Kim Jong Un. We talked to people in the government whose job it is to associate with North Korea, or be experts on it,” he said. The actor appears to be keeping his sense of humor about the latest saber-rattling statement. He just tweeted: “People don’t usually wanna kill me for one of my movies until after they’ve paid 12 bucks for it. Hiyooooo!!!”

Photo credit: Columbia Pictures