Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published June 25, 2014 at 9:16 PM | Page modified June 27, 2014 at 11:05 AM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

North Korea: New Seth Rogen movie an 'act of war'

North Korea is warning that the release of a new American comedy about a plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un would be an "act of war."


Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
I wonder if Un realizes he's setting this up for a #1 box office opening weekend? You can't buy publicity this good. MORE
What is it with people who can't seem to separate Hollywood from reality. And it's not just whacko Muslims or creepy... MORE
So that's what Dennis Rodman is really up to... MORE

advertising

SEOUL, South Korea —

North Korea is warning that the release of a new American comedy about a plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un would be an "act of war."

If the U.S. government doesn't block the movie's release, it will face "stern" and "merciless" retaliation, an unidentified spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in state media Wednesday.

He didn't mention the movie by name but was clearly referring to "The Interview," which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as a producer and talk-show host who land an exclusive interview with the North Korean dictator and are then asked by the CIA to assassinate him.

The "reckless U.S. provocative insanity" of mobilizing a "gangster filmmaker" to challenge the North's leadership is triggering "a gust of hatred and rage" among North Korean people and soldiers, the spokesman said, in typically heated propaganda language.

The film's release would be considered an "act of war that we will never tolerate," he said.

With no independent press of its own, North Korea often holds foreign governments responsible for the content of their media. Pyongyang regularly warns Seoul to prevent its conservative press from mocking or criticizing its leadership, something banned within authoritarian North Korea, where the Kim family is revered.

Trailers have been released for the movie, which is set to hit U.S. theaters in October.

The current leader's late father, Kim Jong Il, was a noted movie buff, lauded in the North for writing a treatise on film. He also ordered the kidnapping of prolific South Korean director and producer Shin Sang-ok in 1978, who then spent years making movies for Kim before escaping, Shin said.

A spokesman for "The Interview" studio Sony Pictures didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but the film's co-writer, co-director and co-star mocked the controversy on Twitter.

"Apparently, Kim Jong Un plans on watching 'The Interview,'" Seth Rogen tweeted last Friday. "I hope he likes it!!"

The "Knocked Up" and "Neighbors" funnyman later posted Wednesday that "people don't usually wanna kill me for one of my movies until after they've paid 12 bucks for it."

It's not the first time that North Korean leadership has served as comic fodder: a puppet rendition of Kim Jong Il served as the villain in the 2004 film "Team America: World Police," and comedians Margaret Cho and Bobby Lee respectively impersonated the North Korean dictator on the NBC comedy series "30 Rock" and the Fox sketch show "MADtv."

Randall Park, a Korean-American actor, is portraying Kim Jong Un in "The Interview."



Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year for unlimited seattletimes.com access. Try it now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Looking for joy on the job


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►