Updated at 3:03 p.m. ET
At least some theaters will now show The Interview on Christmas Day.
Sony Pictures had pulled the controversial comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after ominous threats were made, allegedly by a group that hacked the studio’s emails. The nation’s largest theater chains had also said they won’t show the movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.
But today, Tim League, who founded the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, tweeted this message:
Variety had earlier reported that Plaza Atlanta will also screen the film.
In a statement, Michael Lynton, Sony’s chairman and CEO, said: “We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day.”
He said the studio will continue its efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters to show the film. Variety reported that Sony could offer the film via video on demand.
Rogen, who also co-directed the movie, tweeted:
Co-director Evan Goldberg and co-star Franco had similar reactions.
Franco’s naming of “President Obacco” is an apparent reference to President Obama, who in his own remarks about the movie referred to the actor as James Flacco. Obama had criticized Sony’s original decision, but today White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the president applauded the decision to screen the film.
“As the president made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression,” Schultz said in a statement. “The decision made by Sony and participating theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome.”
As we’ve previously reported, Sony’s original decision was widely criticized. Author George R.R. Martin even offered to screen the film at his own theater in Santa Fe, N.M.
The FBI says North Korea was behind the hacks, but Pyongyang — while describing the hack as “righteous” — has denied any role. Some experts also doubt whether the communist country has the capability to carry out such an attack.
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