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Seth Rogen said 'nope' to Sony's plea to spare Kim Jong-un's life

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Filmmaker says casting Kim Jong-un as the villain was 'not an edgy position to take'

The Interview director and co-star Seth Rogen has said that despite the controversial subject of his upcoming assassination comedy, he believes that casting the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a villain is "not an edgy position to take." Rogen, speaking to The New York Times, said: "He is bad. It’s controversial to him. But to everyone else, it’s fine. To their credit, [Sony] let us do it."

In addition to Sony asking for the Kim Jong-un death scene to be toned down (as revealed in leaked emails), we also learn that it requested for him not be killed at all. "There was a moment where [the studio execs] were like: 'They’ve threatened war over the movie. You kill him [Kim Jong-un]. Would you consider not killing him?' And we were like, 'Nope.'"

However, this interview with Rogen and co-star James Franco is likely to be one of the few discussing the film. Rogen and Franco have backed out of planned press interviews after hackers issued terror threats on any movie theaters showing The Interview. Some venues have already cancelled planned screenings, and there's some speculation as to whether the film will still be released as currently scheduled on Christmas day.

Rogen suggests that the hackers didn't care about the film and just wanted to 'mess with a giant corporation'

In the interview with the Times, Rogen speculates that the hack on Sony Pictures might not have had anything to do with the release of the film. "It could be some hacker that knew the situation with the movie and was using this as an opportunity to mess with a giant corporation," he says, adding that "by the time it happened, millions and millions of people who could have many different motives had knowledge of the movie’s existence."

Rogen also mentions that he's "trying not to" look at any of the leaked material — including internal memos and discussion — that have emerged from the hack. "Ethically, I have problems with reading people’s stolen emails," he tells the Times, before adding that he's now trying to be a "little bit" more careful with his own correspondence. "I think everyone is. Aren’t you?"