The fallout of the hack of Sony Studios’ computer systems is not confined to the studio themselves, but is spreading across Hollywood. In the wake of terroristic threats made against the studio and theaters exhibiting the film The Interview, many other projects that deal with North Korea are being reconsidered or outright cancelled. One such project is the thriller Poyngyang which was set to star Steve Carell and be directed by Gore Verbinski.
According to Deadline, the New Regency project was set to start filming in March, but producers have pulled the plug after Warners decided that they would decline to distribute the film. Reportedly the film’s storyline won’t, or more likely can’t, be rewritten.
Verbinski reached to Deadline with the following email –
Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have been told in no uncertain words that based on the situation at Sony, Fox has now decided to not distribute the film. Without a distributor, New Regency was forced to shut the film down.
I find it ironic that fear is eliminating the possibility to tell stories that depict our ability to overcome fear.
I dare say that this will not be the only in development film that will get shut down due to a connection with North Korea. Sony started Hollywood down a slippery slope when they capitulated to the demands that the studio shelve The Interview due to its comedic plotline involving an assassination attempt on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. We probably have a ways to go down this slide before someone grows the balls enough to get off.