The Interview is a 2014 American political satire comedy film directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It is their second directorial work, following This Is the End (2013). The screenplay is by Dan Sterling, based upon a story he co-authored 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 recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.
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, Jong-un replaced him as the North Korean leader. Rogen and Goldberg re-developed the script with the focus on Jong-un's character. The announcement for the film was made in March 2013, along with the beginning of pre-production. Principal photography took place in Vancouver from October to December 2013.
In June 2014, the North Korean government threatened action against the United States if Columbia Pictures released the film. Columbia 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 parent company Sony Pictures Entertainment were hacked by the "Guardians of Peace", a group the FBI claims has ties to North Korea. The group also threatened terrorist attacks against cinemas that showed the film. Major cinema chains opted not to release the film, leading Sony to release it for online rental and purchase on December 24, 2014, followed by a limited release at select cinemas the next day.
The Interview grossed $40 million in digital rentals, making it Sony's most successful digital release, and earned over $11 million at the box office. It received mixed reviews for its humor and subject matter, with critics praising the performances of Rogen, Franco, Park, and Diana Bang.
Dave Skylark, host of the talk show Skylark Tonight, interviews celebrities about personal topics and gossip. After Dave and his crew celebrate their 1,000th episode, they discover that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a fan of Skylark Tonight, prompting the show's producer Aaron Rapoport to arrange an interview. Aaron travels to rural China to receive instructions from Sook-yin Park, the North Korean chief propagandist, and Aaron accepts the task of interviewing Kim, on behalf of Dave.