As the Sony hackers continue to embarrass the now thoroughly vulnerable company, a spokesperson tells The Japan Times that The Interview will not be released in Japan. In fact, the film will not open in Asia at all—its website lists only release dates for Australia and New Zealand in its “Asia Pacific” region. (The Middle East is considered its own region and Russia part of Europe in this instance.) North Korea was initially considered a suspect in the cyber attacks on the company after referring to The Interview as “an act of war” earlier this year.
Sony’s spokesperson refused to discuss details of the announcement, but claimed that the decision was made before the group that calls itself the Guardians Of Peace hacked into Sony’s computers two weeks ago, and way before they demanded Sony pull the film earlier this week. (Variety points out that Hollywood comedies usually do poorly in Japan anyway, possibly due to a lack of sexy robots.) The Interview will still open on Christmas Day in the U.S. and Canada, however, and the film’s premiere will go on, albeit with bomb-sniffing dogs and no red carpet interviews, tonight in Los Angeles. For the record, North Korea denies involvement in the attacks.