Update: Sony has now announced that “The Interview” will be available on YouTube, Google Play, and Xbox Video today, December 24th, at 1PM Eastern. The film will cost $14.99 to own or $5.99 to rent. Google Play Movies & TV is available for iOS on the App Store.
The New York Times reported earlier today that Sony Pictures had approached Apple about the possibility of streaming the upcoming film “The Interview,” which features actors James Franco and Seth Rogen (who will also appear in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic) as a US talk show host and producer tasked by the CIA with assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
Earlier this month, hackers with ties to North Korea breached Sony’s system, stole terabytes of data, and threatened physical attacks against theaters that showed the movie. Most national theater chains backed out of the premiere and Sony decided to scrub the entire affair.
The studio immediately began searching for an on-demand service that would host the movie online, including iTunes. According to the Times:
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It remained unclear, however, whether any on-demand service would take “The Interview.” According to people briefed on the matter, Sony had in recent days asked the White House for help in lining up a single technology partner — Apple, which operates iTunes — but the tech company was not interested, at least not on a speedy time table. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
Sony was rumored to be planning to put the movie on its own streaming service, Crackle, but those reports were quickly denied. Several independent theaters petitioned to show the movie, and the studio agreed to move forward with a limited theatrical release on Christmas.