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Sony to release The Interview on Christmas Day after all

Sony will release controversial movie The Interview on Christmas Day after all, despite hacker threats of violence at movie theatres.

After initially deciding to pull the release, Sony now says the flick will be screened as planned at select cinemas across the country, from Thursday.

With large, nationwide chains like Regal and ABC having withdrawn support for the film following the threats, independent cinemas will now have the choice to screen the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy.

Michael Lynton, the CEO of Sony Entertainment said the firm is focused on bringing the film to a wider audience.

He said: “We have never given up on releasing The Interview, and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day,”

“At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience.”

Reports earlier this week suggested Sony may choose to release the film for free on its on-demand Crackle app.

The decision to go ahead with the release has been welcomed by U.S. president Barack Obama, who had accused Sony of ‘making a mistake’ by giving into the terroristic threats and postponing the release date.

In a statement on Tuesday, the White House said: “The president applauds Sony’s decision to authorize screenings of the film. As the President made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression. The decision made by Sony and participating theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome.”

The film is believed to have sparked the crippling hack on Sony Pictures by a group calling itself The Guardians of Peace. The FBI has officially accused North Korean agents of carrying out the attack, with the US saying it is considering a proportionate response.

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