It appears that North Korea is none too happy about Seth Rogen’s upcoming comedy The Interview. Although did anyone really think a film in which James Franco plays a talk show host who, along with Rogen playing his producer, gets recruited by an unidentified government agency to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was going to please that country’s despotic regime?
In an interview with London’s The Telegraph, Kim Myong-chol, executive director of The Centre for North Korea-US Peace and an unofficial spokesman for the regime in Pyongyang, derided the film’s plot as a sign of the “desperation” of American society. Speaking without an apparent trace of irony or self-awareness of reports about Jong-Un’s, and before that his father Jong-Il’s, reigns of North Korea –
There is a special irony in this storyline as it shows the desperation of the US government and American society. A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. And let us not forget who killed [President John F.] Kennedy – Americans. In fact, President [Barack] Obama should be careful in case the US military wants to kill him as well.
Myong-chol’s remarks are apparently based on the recently released trailer, and he wouldn’t be the first person to form an opinion on a movie’s overall worth and message based on a bunch of random clips assembled to market the film. This also wouldn’t be the first negative comment about the trailer, as when it recently premiered there was some online discussion as to whether the film using a real world figure, even if he is as despised as Jong-Un is, was in good taste and whether it could further escalate tensions between North Korea and the United States and the rest of the world.
Interestingly, the first draft of the screenplay for The Interview written by Dan Sterling, from a story by Sterling, Rogen and his frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg, featured a Jong-Un stand-in named Kim Il-Hwan. Not that I think that distinction would make a bit of difference to North Korea.
Hysterically, Myong-chol did remark that Jong-Un would very likely see the film, even thought it is a certainty that the average citizen of North Korea will ever get the chance. Like his father before him, Jong-Un is reportedly a movie fan, even though he publicly derides all culture from outside his country’s boarders as decadent.
The Interview opens October 1.