Actors Seth Rogen and James Franco have been taken into protective custody by the NSA following a second formal letter from North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un was sent to the White House regarding the upcoming Hollywood film The Interview. The action comedy portrays a fictional attempt by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un, and stars Rogen and James Franco as a hapless TV film crew given the task to kill the leader.
North Korea has lodged the letter, which is the second thus far, to formally complain about the film. In the letter, officials from the National Defense Commission stated that the plot insults and undermines the leadership of Kim Jong-un and that they insist the film be prohibited from release by President Obama. Several threats were made in the first and second letters, and even resorted to racial slurs aimed at The President, along with threats of “retaliation” if the movie is released.
It remains unclear the exact reasons Rogen and Franco were taken into custody, but White House Press Secretary John Earnest briefly addressed what was originally thought to only be a rumor as true.
“I can confirm that Seth Rogen and James Franco were taken into custody as a result of the latest threats coming out of North Korea as a safety precaution, that is all that can be said about the matter at this time,” said Earnest. When asked if the movie, which is slated to be released October 10th, would still see the light of day he stated “I cannot comment on the dealings with the film studio at this time. I can say it is a particularly delicate situation, and all measures are being taken to protect all involved and resolve the issue in the appropriate fashion.”
Columbia Pictures, who is set to distribute the film, has not given any further information on the release, only saying that “As of now, The Interview is still set to be released in theaters across the United States October 10th. Obviously things are being worked out, what that entails is unknown at this time,” said Columbia Executive Amy Pascal.