Sony Pictures has decided to alter the new Seth Rogen-James Franco North Korea-set comedy "The Interview" after the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, expressed displeasure over the film.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the studio has pushed the release date from October to Dec. 25 to allow time for the digital alterations of thousands of buttons worn by characters in the film because they depict the actual hardware worn by the North Korean military to honor Kim Jong and his late father, Kim Jong Il.
The studio is also considering cutting a scene in which the face of Kim Jong Un is melted off graphically in slow motion.
The film, which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a pair of TV journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean despot, raised the ire of an unofficial spokesperson of the nation who on July 17 asked President Barack Obama to halt the film's release
According to sources, the move was made following provocative comments from Pyongyang that the film's concept "shows the desperation of the U.S. government and American society."
Reuters reports that North Korea's UN Ambassador Ja Song Nam also wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon which did not specifically name the movie but talks about a plot that "involves insulting and assassinating the supreme leadership."
"To allow the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent head of a sovereign state should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war," Ja said.
"The United States authorities should take immediate and appropriate actions to ban the production and distribution of the aforementioned film; otherwise, it will be fully responsible for encouraging and sponsoring terrorism," he wrote.
Sony's decision to change the movie was precipitated by "clearance issues," reveals a source, as Kimg Jon Un is a living person.
The film company has not released an official statement concerning the changes made to "The Interview." However, when a Pyongyang rep said Kim Jong Un likely will watch "The Interview," Rogen, who has also remained silent in relation to the controversy, tweeted, "I hope he likes it!!"