Studio Freaks Out Over Seth Rogen Film ‘The Interview’, Censorship Imminent

Seth Rogen’s new film, The Interview, has been stirring up controversy from the get-go.

The plot of the film depicts a tabloid television show run by characters played by Seth Rogen and James Franco. When the two discover that North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un is a fan of their show, Rogen and Franco’s characters land an interview with the communist leader in an attempt to legitimize their show.

So far that doesn’t sound too controversial.

Of course, before Seth and James leave for North Korea, the CIA enlists them to assassinate Kim Jong-un.

You can see where the communist country might have a problem with the plot. On June 25, the Korean Central News Agency condemned Seth Rogen’s film, promising a “merciless retaliation” upon the film’s release.

“Making and releasing a film on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated.”

That being said, no one thought there was really anything the communist country could do about Seth Rogen’s film outside of North Korea. They were wrong.

According to Joblo, in response to North Korean pressure, Sony Pictures has caved to the communist country and will censor the film. However, the level of censorship the Seth Rogen-directed comedy may receive may not be enough to satisfy the North Korean leadership.

The studio is allegedly digitally altering thousands of buttons worn by different characters in the film. The buttons they are changing are actual buttons worn by members of the North Korean military. The studio says they are digitally altering the buttons in Seth Rogen’s film because of “clearance issues” that would otherwise remain offensive.

In addition to the seemingly innocuous but apparently highly offensive button problem in Seth Rogen’s film, there is a particular scene that is currently being considered by the studio to be cut or altered. The scene is a bit of a SPOILER, so if you don’t want to know – skip the next paragraph.

Apparently there is a scene in Seth Rogen’s The Interview in which the North Korean Leader, Kim Jong-un’s face is completely melted off. Not only that, it’s portrayed in slow motion. More-so than the offensive buttons, the slow mutilation of the North Korean leader’s face might not go over so well in Pyongyang.

The Interview was written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Dan Sterling. Seth Rogen is directing the film along with Evan Goldberg. The Interview — fully censored to omit offensive buttons — has been pushed back from October to a Christmas Day release, according to E! Online.

Here’s the trailer for The Interview starring James Franco and Seth Rogen.

[Image via MotherJones]