UPDATE: The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has now decided not to screen “Team America” as previously planned. “We can confirm that the screening of TEAM AMERICA was cancelled as the film was pulled from release. We are issuing refunds to those that purchased tickets,” a spokesperson told msnbc.
A Texas movie theater has declared that it’s putting the “F” back in “Freedom” by screening a film mocking North Korea.
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Dallas plans instead to host a free screening of the “Team America: World Police” in place of “The Interview,” a comedy about an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that was set to be released this week by Sony. In a surprise move, the company pulled the film after being hacked and receiving threats from a group calling itself “Guardians of Peace.” Officials said Wednesday night that the group has ties to North Korea.
The theater announced its move on social media, via a tweet and Facebook post, noting “For the record, our plan was to still show The Interview…unfortunately these decisions aren’t always ours to make. But in light of these recent events, we only have one thing to say: “AMERICA F*** YEAH!”
South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone co-wrote the 2004 cult classic, which focuses on an American paramilitary group’s infiltration of North Korea. All of the characters in “Team America” — including now-deceased former North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il —are depicted using marionettes. So, literally, they are puppets.
James Wallace, creative manager and programmer at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s told The Hollywood Reporter, “We’re just trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation.” The Alamo Drafthouse will reportedly hand out American flags to movie-goers to mark the patriotic occasion as well. A spokeswoman for the Alamo Drafthouse declined to comment to msnbc.
Sony announced its decision to yank “The Interview,” which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, from distribution Wednesday after the five biggest movie chains pulled out of screening it. The hacker group threatened violent 9/11-style attacks on places the screened the movie and claimed responsibility for leaking hundreds of private Sony documents.
“In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film ‘The Interview,’ we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers,” Sony said in a statement to NBC News.
Many Hollywood A-listers, including actors, writers and directors, slammed the company’s choice as caving to North Korea and censorship.