‘The Interview’ back on for Christmas Day opening

Score one for freedom of speech.

Sony Pictures has rethought its plans to cancel all screenings of the controversial film, “The Interview,” agreeing to release the comedy in select theaters on Christmas Day, according to Fortune magazine.

The movie, which depicts a CIA-driven assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was suddenly scrapped for theater release after a hacking scheme divulging sensitive Sony documents, emails, scripts and even some movies were traced to the angered ruler.

The hackers also threatened 9/11-style terrorist attacks at any theater that showed the picture, prompting many theater chains last week to pull out of commitments to show it. Sony eventually decided to shelve its release altogether, at least in theaters – a move that sparked its own backlash from Hollywood stars and politicians alike.

President Obama even weighed in, saying, “I think they made a mistake” to cave in to the hackers’ demands.

“We have never given up on releasing ‘The Interview’ and we are excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day,” Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement Tuesday. “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.

“While we hope this is only the first step of the film’s release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech.”

So far two theaters – The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain in Texas and The Plaza in Atlants – have announced on Twitter that they will be showing the film.

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Carmine Sabia

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