Yesterday the movie studio announced that it was canceling release of its upcoming comedy blockbuster about the assassination of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Well good. The company should have had enough sense to know that you don't make a movie about killing a sitting head of state, even if the target is a real two-bit thug from a half-bit country. Killing heads of state is not something to take lightly. Mock the slime ball, sure. But give yourself some deniability. Situate your plot in some invented country and let the audience figure it out of if you like.
Defenders of The Interview cite Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator; but note, Chaplin didn't name Hitler in his movie. And Hitler did qualify as a "great" threat. Aside from his unfortunate people and near neighbors, Kim is just a bizarre irritant.
The arrogance of thinking you can make this movie using real names boggles my mind.
The film cost Sony some $44 million to make and an additional $35 million to promote. I've barely been able to watch a football game in the last two weeks without seeing multiple ads.