Sony Pictures' The Interview, the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, will be shown on streaming services starting today, the studio said in a statement.
Starting at 10 a.m. PST, the comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco will be available to rent in HD on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and a dedicated website at a price of $5.99. The film can also be bought in HD for $14.99, the statement said.
"It has always been Sony's intention to have a national platform on which to release this film," said Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment. "With that in mind, we reached out to Google, Microsoft and other partners last Wednesday, December 17th, when it became clear our initial release plans were not possible. We are pleased we can now join with our partners to offer the film nationwide today."
The studio announced Tuesday that the comedy would also be shown in more than 200 independent theaters across the country. Independent theater owner Greg Laemmle told NPR he would bolster security for screenings of the film but wasn't too worried about a potential downside. (In related coverage, NPR's Elise Hu reports on how the buddy comedy has become an art house film.)
It's a shot in the arm for the controversial movie, which cost $44 million to make. Just days earlier, Sony pulled The Interview after ominous threats were made, allegedly by a group that hacked the studio's emails. The nation's largest theater chains had also said they won't show the movie.
The FBI says North Korea was behind the hacks, but Pyongyang — while describing the hack as "righteous" — has denied any role. Some experts also doubt whether the communist country has the capability to carry out such an attack.