EXCLUSIVE: Shortly after Deadline revealed that New Regency had scrapped a project he planned to direct with Steve Carell with a North Korea setting, director Gore Verbinski has expressed his frustration that his movie was a casualty of the unprecedented hack attack and terrorist threat that caused Sony to cancel the theatrical release of The Interview after theater chains refused to show it. Word I’m getting from Fox is they hadn’t committed to fund the film, which Verbinski informed me was called Pyongyang, but they did decline to distribute it in the wake of recent events but didn’t stand in the way of it going elsewhere. Clearly that wasn’t going to happen.
Here is the statement by Verbinski, who launched the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and most recently directed The Lone Ranger and the Oscar winning Rango:
Getting the facts straight:
Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have been told in no uncertain words that based on the situation at Sony, Fox has now decided to not distribute the film. Without a distributor, New Regency was forced to shut the film down.
I find it ironic that fear is eliminating the possibility to tell stories that depict our ability to overcome fear.