Concerned that, this time, Christmas spirit may not be enough to stave off nuclear war, Sony is said to be making changes to its Kim Jong-un assassination comedy The Interview, after North Korea promised a “merciless retaliation” if it is released. The Hollywood Reporter says that the studio is racing to edit the movie, in which Seth Rogen and James Franco play TV journalists recruited to kill the North Korean leader, and adjust certain things about it the North Korean government might find offensive—for example, the military buttons worn by characters. Sony is now digitally altering “thousands” of badges that resemble the actual decorations worn to honor the late Kim Jong Il, which THR says North Korea would consider “blasphemous” if they turned up in a comedy about trying to kill Kim Jong Il’s son. Fortunately, now that faux pas will be avoided.

Sources say the studio is also considering cutting a scene in which Kim Jong Un’s face is “melted off graphically in slow motion”—presumably if they have time, after fixing all the buttons. Those same sources say the impetus to change the scene where the dictator’s face is slowly, gleefully liquefied definitely isn’t due to “pressure” from North Korea, but rather concerns over whether it’s funny. “I mean, it’s funny, but is it ‘act of war’ funny?” producers are no doubt asking themselves right now.


North Korea has yet to respond to the news, but everything is expected to go back to being totally cool again, once they hear about the buttons.