In the aftermath of Sony Pictures canceling the Christmas Day release of their new comedy The Interview yesterday, 20th Century Fox also announced that they will not be distributing an untitled project that will be set in North Korea, entitled Pyongyang, which had Gore Verbinski set to direct and Steve Carell attached to star. Director Gore Verbinski issued a statement to Deadline, where he shed new light on the events that transpired between 20th Century Fox and New Regency, which had financed the film. Take a look at his statement below.
Getting the facts straight: Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have been told in no uncertain words that based on the situation at Sony, Fox has now decided to not distribute the film. Without a distributor, New Regency was forced to shut the film down.
My thoughts: I find it ironic that fear is eliminating the possibility to tell stories that depict our ability to overcome fear.
We first reported on Pyongyang back in October, when it was revealed that production was slated to begin this coming March. Gore Verbinski was set to direct Pyongyang from a script by Steve Conrad, who the director had previously worked with on The Weather Man. 20th Century Fox did allow the director and producers to shop the project elsewhere, but given the current climate after the massive Sony hack, no studios were willing to roll the dice on the project. No story details were given, but the plot is described as a paranoid thriller. Star Steve Carell also took to his Twitter account to subtly address the news yesterday.