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.
The report is predicated on Sonys decision to reinstate the premiere of The Interview, announced a week after the studio canceled the theatrical release of the film amid terrorist threats from the same group that hacked its computer systems.
The group is believed to have ties with North Korea, whose supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, is parodied in The Interview. Starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, the film is a political action-comedy centered on a CIA plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un, played by Randall Park. Check out the film’s final trailer:
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In response to Sonys about-face decision, a White House press secretary said that, as President Barack Obama made clear, were a country that believes in free speech and the right of artistic expression.
The Interview is scheduled to open in limited release at about 250 small theaters on Thursday, Dec. 25.
Its unclear, though, if it will be made available via online streaming soon, since no on-demand video service provider has dared pick up the film for fear of becoming hacking targets themselves.
Sonys own video site, Crackle, and YouTube, both free services, have been excluded from the streaming options for The Interview since the studio is contractually obligated to use paid on-demand services only.