Apple was reportedly approached by Sony Pictures regarding a potential partnership for the on-demand distribution of “The Interview.” But the company behind iTunes was “not interested.”
According to people briefed on the matter, Sony had in recent days asked the White House for help in lining up a single technology partner — Apple, which operates iTunes — but the tech company was not interested, at least not on a speedy time table. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
The report is predicated on Sony’s decision to reinstate the premiere of “The Interview,” announced a week after the studio canceled the theatrical release of the film amid terrorist threats from the same group that hacked its computer systems.
The group is believed to have ties with North Korea, whose supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, is parodied in “The Interview.” Starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, the film is a political action-comedy centered on a CIA plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un, played by Randall Park. Check out the film’s final trailer:
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In response to Sony’s about-face decision, a White House press secretary said that, as President Barack Obama “made clear, we’re a country that believes in free speech and the right of artistic expression.”
“The Interview” is scheduled to open in limited release at about 250 small theaters on Thursday, Dec. 25.
It’s unclear, though, if it will be made available via online streaming soon, since no on-demand video service provider has dared pick up the film for fear of becoming hacking targets themselves.
Sony’s own video site, Crackle, and YouTube, both free services, have been excluded from the streaming options for “The Interview” since the studio is contractually obligated to use paid on-demand services only.
See also: Confide to launch business edition of secret messaging app in wake of Sony hack, ‘Titanic’ star Kate Winslet in talks for female lead role in upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, and ‘A Serious Man’ star Michael Stuhlbarg joins Steve Jobs biopic cast.