According to Sony, we’ll see “The Interview” soon, but probably not on its free streaming platform Crackle.
Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton told NPR they are “actively exploring” ways to release the controversial film about two journalists who head to North Korea on a secret mission to assassinate leader Kim Jong-Un.
Sony canceled the Dec. 25 release of the film after receiving a message from hackers threatening harm to theaters showing the film. Subsequently, multiple big theater chains decided to pull the comedy.
Here's what Lynton said on NPR's "All Things Considered" Friday when asked about a video-on-demand release for the film:
We don't have any takers — neither on the video demand side nor on the e-commerce side. People have been generally fearful about the possibility of their systems being corrupted, and so there have been a lot of conversations about the robustness of various systems to be able to make sure they're not hacked, if and when we put the movie out digitally.
I shouldn't say if — when. We would very much like that to happen. But we do need partners to make that happen. We ourselves do not have a distribution platform to put the movie out.
That last line is curious considering Sony owns a streaming distribution platform called Crackle which is similar to Hulu.
The New York Post suggested Sony would release the film on Crackle for free, citing unnamed sources.
However, since Crackle is a free service, funded completely by ads and commercials, that may not be the best option for Sony who could lose close to $200 million on "The Interview,"according to a report from Bloomberg.
Another possibility would be distributing "The Interview" through Sony's PlayStation console systems. PlayStation has its own store which could rent or sell the film for users to download.
Lynton told NPR that's another avenue "that can be explored."
Releasing the film through Sony's PlayStation Network may alienate many people without a PlayStation from seeing the film. The PlayStation Network has also been susceptible to hacks as recent as earlier this month.
"I think in general we need to bring together a coalition of platforms to make this operate properly," Lynton added.
Sony Pictures Entertainment lawyer David Boies also said the film will be distributed on Sunday's "Meet the Press," but showed uncertainty in how it will be delivered to the public.
"It will be distributed," said Boies. "How it's going to be distributed I don't think anybody knows quite yet. But it's going to be distributed."