The Interview is a 2014 American political satire action comedy film co-produced and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in their second directorial work, following This Is The End (2013). The screenplay was written by Dan Sterling, based on a story he co-wrote with Rogen and Goldberg. The film stars Rogen and James Franco as journalists who set up an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Randall Park), and are then recruited by the CIA to assassinate him. The film is heavily inspired by a 2012 Vice documentary.
Rogen and Goldberg developed the idea for The Interview in the late 2000s, with Kim Jong-il as the original assassination target. In 2011, after Jong-il's death and Jong-un's succession as the North Korean leader, Rogen and Goldberg redeveloped the script with the focus on Jong-un's character. The Interview was first announced in March 2013, at the beginning of pre-production. Principal photography was in Vancouver from October to December 2013. The film was produced by Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital and Rogen and Goldberg's Point Grey Pictures, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.
In June 2014, the North Korean government threatened action against the United States if Sony released the film. As a result, Sony delayed the release from October to December and reportedly re-edited the film to make it more acceptable to North Korea. In November, the computer systems of Sony were hacked by the "Guardians of Peace", a group the FBI claimed has ties to North Korea. The group also threatened terrorist attacks against theaters showing the film. As a result, major theater chains opted not to release the film, and Sony instead released it for online digital rental and purchase on December 24, 2014, followed by a limited release at selected theaters the next day.
In December 2014, South Korean singer Yoon Mi-rae revealed that the film used her song "Pay Day" without permission, and that she was taking legal action. Yoon Mi-rae and her label Feel Ghood Music reached a settlement with Sony Pictures Entertainment on May 13, 2015.
The Interview grossed $40 million in digital rentals, making it Sony's most successful digital release and earned an additional $12.3 million worldwide in box office ticket sales on a $44 million budget. It received mixed reviews for its humor and subject matter, although a few critics praised the performances of Rogen, Franco, Park and Diana Bang.