The Interview was the most ambitious and audacious movie yet from writing team Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, also responsible for Superbad, Pineapple Express, and This Is the End. Rogen and James Franco played a TV producer and a TV talk show host, respectively, recruited by the U.S. government to travel to North Korea and assassinate "Glorious Leader" Kim Jong-un (Randall Park). Not surprisingly, the North Korean government wasn't happy, and hackers broke into distributor Sony's computer networks and then threatened to physically attack any American movie theater that screened The Interview.
While the Department of Homeland Security didn't think there were any credible threats, they were scary enough for Regal Cinemas, Cinemark, Cineplex, AMC, Bow Tie Cinemas, Carmike, Southern Theatres, B&B Theatres, ArcLight Cinemas, MJR Digital Cinemas, and Wehrenberg Theatres to cancel or delay plans to show The Interview. Seeing as that meant almost nobody in the U.S. would mess with what would otherwise have been a major movie, Sony ultimately released the film directly to video-on-demand services.