The film that has inflamed North Korean politicians and inspired threats of terrorist attacks against theatres will be aired in Pitt Meadows on Friday, in its first screening in the province.
“The Interview” will also be played at the Hollywood 3 Cinemas in both Pitt Meadows and Surrey starting on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the Pitt Meadows location. It is only being shown in approximately 30 theatres across Canada, and only two in B.C.
“We don’t anticipate anything happening,” said Rahim Manji, who owns both theatres and three others.
He said he is a believer in freedom of speech.
“We’ve been in touch with the local authorities (police). We expect it’s going to be business as normal.”
Normal, except that he has been interviewed by all sorts of media ranging from the CBC to a Vancouver Chinese language newspaper over his decision to air the movie.
Manji noted that the film opened in 300 U.S. theatres last week, and nothing happened.
“And, knock on wood, nothing is going to happen.”
The film stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as TV celebrity interviewers who take on a mission to assassinate Kim Jong-Un, the leader of North Korea.
But the movie’s release was almost killed.
Sony announced that “The Interview” would not be aired after a cyberattack on the movie studio, followed by the hackers threatening terrorist attacks against theatres showing the movie.
Manji said it was not surprising that the theatre chains backed away from the film, given the threats and controversy.
The FBI announced it had found the North Korean government was responsible for the hack.
U.S. President Barack Obama responded that freedom of expression was threatened if the movie was shelved.
So Sony reconsidered, and released the film on Christmas Day.
Manji has previewed the film, which doesn’t try to offer insightful political commentary, he said.
“It’s touching on a subject that’s relevant in the world, but it’s making fun of it,” he said. “It’s just a movie, something for people to watch. It’s entertainment.
“The only way to explain it – it’s a Seth Rogen movie.
The film features shooting at numerous Vancouver locations, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, West Georgia Street, Chinatown and the Richmond Night Market.