Following the reports that North Korea leader Kim Jong-un may have died during surgery, one Hulu user noticed something very ironic. In a social media post, the user revealed that Hulu suggested people watch the The Interview, a comedy film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco about the fictional assassination of Jong-un.
Released in 2014, The Interview stars Franco and Rogen as a pair of journalists who are enlisted by the CIA to assassinate Jong-un, played by Fresh Off the Boat star Randall Park. The film was written by Dan Sterling, with Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg adding story elements. Notably, the plot was originally supposed to feature Jong-um's father, Kim Jong-il — the previous leader of the country — but after his death in 2011, Jong-un was made the leader and the story was redeveloped. The Interview became highly controversial after the North Korean government threatened to take action against the United States if the film's studio, Sony, released it. This resulted in theater chains refusing to carry the movie, which led to Sony initially releasing the movie as a digital rental only.
Why is Hulu’s top pick The Interview when the biggest news story rn is that Kim Jong Un is reportedly dead lmao pic.twitter.com/6TOGkLPCsH— punkin 🎃 (@reinecitrouille) April 25, 2020
The Interview ended up grossing $40 million in digital rentals, which makes it Sony's most successful digital release. The film earned an additional $12.3 million at the global box office, as some countries opted to allow the film to be screened. With an estimated budget if $44 million, the movie at the very least earned back more than it cost Sony to produce. The Interview eventually became available for streaming on Netflix a few after its digital release.0comments
In 2019, Rogen opened up about the controversy surround the film while speaking to David Chang, on the celebrity chef's Netflix show, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. After speaking about the difficult nature of getting movies like Sausage Party and This Is The End made, Rogen joked, "The Interview would be the thing that people point to as like, 'Oh, that's where your hubris took you too far.' He added, "But the truth is, that movie, looking back, had the least resistance to its making. They were just like, 'Go, go, go, you're geniuses.' And we're like, 'OK, great.'"
Rogen continued: "That, I think, was the problem with it, as opposed to our other movies. They have to jump through so many hoops to get made that by the time they're getting made, they're really good because they've had a lot of holes poked in them and things like that. The Interview was the one where I was like, 'Man, wish maybe people scrutinized that a little more.' Could have had a couple more meetings about that one. That wouldn't have hurt."