Seth Rogen and James Franco’s “The Interview” may go down as the “War of the Worlds” of our time. The irony of irony would be that those two “comedy geniuses” are remembered as the Orson Welles of the 21st Century.
Sony pictures is in deep doo-doo. Due to a cyber hack attack, thousands of private emails containing embarrassing information about some of their A-listers and other employees and their families have been released to the public. The insatiable maw of mass media has gobbled up and regurgitated every scrap. The leaks have caused Sony to shut down production and is even having to rewrite the script for “Spectre” the upcoming James Bond film. Angelina Jolie was so upset she got chicken pox and missed the premier of her film, “Unbroken.” She appeared on Skype with an open top showing little red pock marks, in case you didn’t believe it. But it gets worse.
It’s suspected, but not proven yet, that the hack was retaliation by North Korea for Seth Rogen and James Franco’s film, “The Interview,” which sends Rogen and Franco to that country to assassinate supreme leader Kim Jong Un. The hackers, whoever they are, have threatened to wreak violence on theaters that show the film, which they consider an act of war. The fearless filmmakers are so shook up they have canceled all public appearances connected with promoting the movie.
Not since Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” has the nation been so shaken up by a piece of entertainment. At least in Welles’s case, his radio play was based on a science fiction classic written by H.G. Wells. Whether the resultant panic of the broadcast was warranted or not, it made Welles, Orson that is, a household name. It’s what he’s most remembered for. “The Interview” on the other hand seems to be another crazy, thoughtless concoction dreamed up by America’s favorite stoners.
What the final outcome of it all will be is still unknown. But Rogen and Franco’s last film together was “This Is The End.” If Sony goes bankrupt, and any one gets hurt at a showing of “The Interview,” that title may become the epitaph written on the tombstones of their careers. And yet, whether the threats of violence are real or not, the movie may well make the two of them the Orson Welles of our day. That would really be funny. Wouldn’t it?