In recent days, Sony Pictures mustered the courage to distribute The Interview in theaters, but is apparently still very much exploring its options for digital distribution. Spurred by President Barack Obama‘s words – POTUS recently stated, “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States” in reference to Sony pulling the film’s theatrical release – the entertainment studio asked the White House to help get its Seth Rogan and James Franco comedy about the assassination of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un onto iTunes.
According to The New York Times, Sony wanted to The Interview to be purchased and streamed via video-on-demand on Apple‘s iTunes. The entertainment company asked the White House to help it broker a deal with the computer and consumer electronics corporation, but Apple was apparently “not interested,” and a rep for the company declined to provide a comment to the NYT.
Apple has always been a top distribution platform for many VOD titles. YouTubers like Shane Dawson and Kurt Hugo Schneider have even used it to get their films out into the world when Hollywood-level distribution deals weren’t possible. But these films aren’t as controversial as Sony’s The Interview, which caused hackers reportedly linked to North Korea to threaten an attack on any U.S. theaters which played the film. Apple’s refusal to distribute the film on iTunes could stem from the fact the technology company simply doesn’t want to have anything to do with the precarious situation or it could simply be a matter of logistics and timing.
Sony has managed to talk to several small theater chain owners who have agreed to show The Interview on Christmas Day (as Sony had originally planned) in over 300 theaters. Sony Pictures also previously considered where The Interview could stream digitally or be bought on demand, and it seems the entertainment company may have reached a decision.
Media outlets are now reporting Sony and Google are working out a last-minute deal make the film available via streaming on-demand on YouTube, as well as via Google Play. Sony may also make the movie available for rental on its own site with the help of payment processor company Stripe. We should get official news soon considering the film’s release date is Christmas Day.
In the meantime, you can opt to attend one of the few theaters scheduled to show the film. The Verge has a full listing of cinemas and showtimes for The Interview in your area.