Update: evening, Dec. 17
Sadly, Sony is reported to have given in to the "heckler's veto" by North Korea, and for now has no plans to release the film "The Interview". Maybe they will change their minds when things calm down.
The FBI is reported to have connected North Korea as having initiated the attacks and threats, as in this Fox story. More formal announcements may be made Thursday. The Obama administration had apparently "prescreened" the film in the early fall.
I see that I had reviewed "Team America: World Police, Uncensored and Unrated" (2004, Paramount, Trey Parker), animated, back on my older "doaskdotell.com", on a page where it is paired with "Southpark: Bigger, Longer and Uncut", complete with "blaming Canada", the USO, Big Gay Al, and libertarian support for personal responsibility.
Michael Moore says that "Fahrenheit 9/11" caused threats, and the company and theaters just hired more security.
Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post writes a ballsy analysis of the idea that "The Interview", however very silly, may be more "political" than we admit. Of course, the DPRK fears that copies o the film would leak into the country and get seen by "ordinary people."
Update: Morning, Dec. 19
George Clooney has an "interview" on Deadline here. He discusses a petition that others in Hollywood would not sign.
CNN says that early Friday morning Sony executives received another message late Dec. 19 saying "you did the right thing" and that no further damage would occur if Sony behaves. Really?
Update: Dec. 23
Sony has agreed to a limited release Christmas Day to standalone independent theaters. CNN has a story here, with a list of theaters, including the Alamo Drafthouse in Loudoun County, VA. I don't see the West End Cinema in Washington yet, but the owner had said that his theater would never give in to bullying, so I suspect it may show up there soon. It would seem likely that shows will sell out online quickly, and that additional police will be on hand. Moviegoers on Christmas Day will have to weigh other films that are, frankly, more "important" socially, like "Selma" and "Unbroken". I'll review the Seth Rogen comedy when I have seen it on a separate posting.
Update: Dec. 24.
The partial list of theaters is here. West End Cinema in Washington DC has an entry here. The film can be rented on YouTube for $5.99 as of now, but I'm not sure if there are problems with huge sudden demand. I will next discuss this film when I have time to see it. Frankly, there are a few others, for artistic reasons and my own schedule, in front of it.