Seth Rogen reveals the behind the scenes battle over Kim Jong Un’s demise in ‘The Interview’

James Franco and Seth Rogen in the 2014 comedy The Interview (Photo: Ed Araquel/©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

James Franco and Seth Rogen within the 2014 comedy The Interview (Photo: Ed Araquel/©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

Not each comic can boast about beginning a global incident with a single film, however that is one of many many issues that makes Seth Rogen’s Hollywood profession distinctive. In 2014, the Knocked Up star co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred within the media satire, The Interview, which adopted an oddball celeb TV journalist (performed by James Franco) and his producer (Rogen) to North Korea the place they deliberate to interview the nation’s reclusive chief, Kim Jong Un (Randall Park). 

But The Interview did not simply ridicule the newest ruler from the Kim household dynasty — it depicted his violent demise as effectively. When phrase of his fictional counterpart’s destiny leaked, North Korea orchestrated a cyberattack towards Sony Pictures — which produced the movie — that might be the plot of its personal film.

Seven years later, Rogen reveals that Kim Jong Un’s demise was meant to be much more violent than what was proven. In a brand new interview with the special-effects YouTube sequence, Corridor Crew, the actor and filmmaker revisited the sequence of selections that resulted in, as he says, “the largest act of corporate espionage in history.”

As Rogen remembers, Kim Jong Un’s demise scene was a degree of rivalry for Sony all through the post-production course of. But the controversy intensified after the studio was hacked the month earlier than The Interview‘s December launch, leaking numerous emails and paperwork from notable executives and celebrities. (A bunch named the “Guardians of Peace” took credit score for the hack, and the FBI claimed it had North Korea connections.) Following the hack and threats of assaults on the film’s premiere, Sony introduced they had been pulling the movie from broad launch.  

But then-President Barack Obama entered the image, chiding the studio’s choice at a widely-watched press convention that Rogen watched dwell. “After Obama gave that speech, [Sony] allowed theaters who wanted to show it to show it,” they usually offered it to Google Play to stream it,” he tells the Corridor Crew hosts. 

But before The Interview was released into the world, there was still the not-insignificant matter of solving the problem of Kim Jong-un’s death scene, which occurs when his Franco’s character shoots down the leader’s helicopter. In their original vision for the sequence, Rogen and his longtime collaborator, Evan Goldberg, planned a face-melting homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark. “We constructed a wax Kim Jong Un head that had all of the layers — cranium, brains and all this,” he recalls. “There was an explosive cost within the center. I bear in mind we had these large warmth lamps, and we filmed it at actually excessive velocity and melted all of the layers. The thought was that it will occur in a second, and his head would pop with the explosive cost when it received to the underside layer. It was very cool.” 

Rogen, Franco and Randall Park on the set of 'The Interview' (Photo: Ed Araquel/©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

Rogen, Franco and Randall Park on the set of The Interview (Photo: Ed Araquel/©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

But Sony deemed the “cool” version to be “unacceptable,” and pushed for changes. “If there was going to be battle with North Korea primarily based on one thing within the film, it was going to be due to this shot,” Rogen says, semi-jokingly. The studio’s own VFX team presented the filmmakers with other versions that obscured the bloodshed with digital fire or judicious cuts. “This turned the entire negotiation: how a lot of the top do you see … [It was] by far the factor I’ve had essentially the most dialogue about…in anyone single a part of any film I’ve ever had something to do with.”

As Rogen himself has said, the behind-the-scenes battles over The Interview essentially ended his directing career. But at least he took one valuable lesson away from the experience: you don’t have to necessarily deliver a movie on deadline. “[Studios] are at all times like, ‘We want the film, like, a lot beforehand, and we’re at all times like, ‘That’s not true!'” he tells the Corridor Crew. “We know you possibly can change a shot 24 hours earlier than the film is launched and it really works.” 

The Interview is currently streaming on Netflix

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