Seth Rogen and James Franco’s new film The Interview hits theaters on Christmas Day, and from the looks of the trailer, it will probably be as irreverent, politically incorrect, and unexpectedly funny as the rest of their movies.
But one country isn’t laughing. North Korean government-controlled newspaper Uriminzokkiri condemned the film on Friday, calling it “an evil provocation” and an “insult against our righteous people.”
The film follows Franco, who plays a tabloid show TV anchor, and Rogen, his producer, as they travel to North Korea for an exclusive interview with the country’s notoriously tight-lipped leader, Kim Jong Un. Once the U.S. government finds out the pair will be in the same room alone with Kim, they enlist them in an effort to assassinate the leader.
Back in July, North Korea filed a formal complaint with the United Nations, calling the film an “act of war” and calling for the United States to ban the film from being released. Now, under a pen name, a writer for the government-controlled newspaper says the filmmakers “must be subject to our stern punishment.”
“The cheekiness to show this conspiracy movie, which is comprised of utter distortions of the truth and absurd imaginations, is an evil act of provocation against our highly dignified republic and an insult against our righteous people,” the article read, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“The trashy filmmakers, who, won over by a few dollars thrown to them by conspirators, have compromised the dignity and conscience of filmmaking and dared to produce and direct such a film. They must be subject to our stern punishment.”
Ironically, in a June interview with the Telegraph, a spokesman for Kim said the North Korean leader would probably watch the film anyway. This despite the fact that “the U.S. is desperately scrambling to tear down the authority of our republic that grows mightier by the day, with a shabby movie, now that no pressure or threat has worked,” as the most recent article said.
Rogen, for his part, doesn’t seem to be taking the threat all that seriously; on Tuesday, he invited his fans to get high and watch the film with him in a Colorado theater that allows smoking weed inside.
Watch the trailer for The Interview below: