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Odds on the Release of “The Interview”

There has been a distinct fervor from a certain part of the world about Sony Production Entertainment’s The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

The movie centers around a hapless TV host and his hapless producer who are recruited to assassinate the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un. (For those of you who don’t pay attention to the news, that is the real name of the leader of North Korea.)

Guess who’s mad about the movie. If you said the North Koreans, you have a keen insight into world politics, my friend.

Recently, Sony Production Entertainment (“SPE”) has been hacked (apparently by North Koreans) and there have been anonymous threats of violence (apparently from North Koreans) if and when The Interview is released.

After theatre franchises started backing out of showing the film, SPE decided to cancel the scheduled December 25 release-date, leaving the future of the movie in limbo.

So what is going to happen next? We take our best guess with some The Interview-related odds.

The Interview Odds:

Odds SPE reluctantly releases the film on Christmas anyway: 4/1

  • The worst case scenario for SPE is if people die at a screening of The Interview. Undoubtedly, SPE is anxious to monetize the film, but there should be ample time to make money – and myriad ways to do so – after Christmas. Unless, that is, the movie leaks before they have the chance, which brings us to our next proposition.

Odds The Interview leaks online before it’s ever officially released: 3/2

  • With all the hullabaloo surrounding the movie, a large portion of world is now intensely curious about what it actually contains. On top of that, SPE’s security is seemingly vulnerable. It seems pretty likely that some new hacker will try to obtain a copy of the film and may just get the drop on SPE.

Odds the hackers release a censored/edited version of the movie online: 9/1

  • While I’m sure the original hackers would love to deprive SPE of profits, this would be counterproductive to their primary goal of quashing the film in its entirety.

If the movie isn’t released on Christmas, odds that it will:
– go straight to DVD or Blu Ray: 2/1
– be released in theaters in 2015: 3/2
– be released as VOD or paid digital download: 3/1
– be released by SPE as a free download or stream: 100/1
– never see the light of day: 1000/1

  • SPE will find a way to earn some revenue off this thing. Don’t expect any handouts from the media giant. It’s possible that the threats will turn out to be bloviation from an disorganized few, in which case expect The Interview in theatres in 2015. If the threats turn out to be credible, look for it on the shelf of your local Blockbuster. (Blockbuster is still a thing, right?)

Odds SPE releases a censored version of the movie: 4/1

  • The entire movie centers around assassinating the leader of North Korea. I’m pretty sure it’s the general plot that has Kim Jong-Un angry, not one or two scenes. It seems like a tall order to censor the movie in a way that would (a) appease the North Koreans and (b) leave SPE with something releasable.

Odds the hackers are arrested: 9/1

  • If they’re actually from North Korea, this isn’t going to happen, unless Dennis Rodman is up to the challenge.

Odds the would-be terrorists are caught: 9/1

  • Threatening a 9/11-style attack is sure to garner more attention from the authorities than hacking SPE. But, again, if the would-be terrorists are actually from North Korea, this isn’t going to happen. Why? Little Kim has some nukes.

Odds on the next film to be cancelled due to a terror threat:

– Mary: 10/1

  • Usually religion is at the heart of events like this. Nothing whips people into a frenzy like a sense that their faith is being treated unfairly or incorrectly. Mary comes to us from writer Benedict Fitzgerald, who co-wrote The Passion of the Christ. You can bet it will anger someone.

– American Sniper: 20/1

  • There hasn’t been any backlash yet, but there is likely a large contingent of people in the world who would prefer not to see the killing of Muslims ostensibly glorified.

 Ode to My Father: 40/1

  • This is another movie that involves North Korea. It doesn’t deal with the current regime, though, so no one seems to be up in arms – or up in keyboards – over it.

Odds on next hollywood company/studio to be hacked:

– MGM: 2/1

  • SPE and MGM are owned by the same parent company. In whatever twisted world the hackers live in, MGM may be partly to blame for the movie in the first place. Or they may be an unintended casualty of cyber war. Either way, they better be on high-alert.

– Apatow Productions: 3/1

  • Judd Apatow is the director of The Interview and has been very vocal with his anger in the wake of the movie being cancelled. If he keeps pushing for its imminent release, he is likely to attract some ire, personally.

– Disney: 4/1

  • Two words: Star Wars. With Episode VII due for release in 2015 – and tantalizing teaser footage starting to hit the web already – you can be sure that people-who-are-good-with-computers (if only there was a word to describe such people) will want an early look. While the hacking may be more out of curiosity than malice, the anticipation for the next Skywalker-focused adventure makes Disney a likely candidate.
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