Back in the fall of 2014, Sony Pictures was infiltrated by nefarious hackers, who leaked a number of the studio's upcoming movies, along with a slew of corporate emails that were quite controversial. It was eventually confirmed that North Korea was behind the attack, in response to the studio's comedy The Interview, where North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un (played by Fresh off the Boat star Randall Park) was targeted for assassination. Less than two years after that unprecedented cyber-attack, another hack may be on the horizon, according to star Liam Neeson.
Liam Neeson stars as decorated U.S. General Douglas MacArthur in the new Korean War movie Operation Chromite, which centers on a South Korean spy mission during the U.S.' Incheon Landing Operation in 1950, which is credited for helping turn the tide against this war. During a press conference for this new movie, which hits theaters in South Korea on July 27 and August 12 in the U.S., Liam Neeson revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he's worried this movie could spawn another devastating hack attack, possibly aimed at distributor CJ Entertainment.
"North Korea and South Korea signed an armistice in 1953 and both countries are still essentially at war. It's a horrifying situation and in light of very recent events [such as the Sony hack] we are all, not just as filmmakers, but as citizens of this world, very concerned. I was aware that very few Western actors make a Korean film, and I felt very, very honored and very, very privileged. I mean, with 72 films [under my belt], I've worked with a crew that has been so professional, so fast, so focused. It was kind of mind-blowing actually; the commitment and dedication [the film crew had on] all their individual jobs was quite awe-inspiring."
Operation Chromite is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on August 12. Ironically, the movie will be squaring off against Sony's Sausage Party, which was written by both Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who wrote and directed The Interview. The movie will also go up against Disney's Pete's Dragon and Paramount's Florence Foster Jenkins. Here's what Liam Neeson had to say about playing General MacArthur, comparing him to another famous real life character he has portrayed, Oskar Schindler.
"Schindler was very, very different from General MacArthur, total opposites except in their supreme confidence. Schindler was inspired to save 1,200 people; MacArthur was inspired to have this crazy idea to land 75,000 troops in the port of Incheon, which is as wide as this room. They said there was one chance in 5,000 [for the operation to succeed] and he took it; Schindler in his way would've done the same too. [Operation Chromite is] a decision that Gen. MacArthur has to make, knowing that millions of lives will be at stake and it just made me very aware of decisions that our leaders, our politicians have to make, perhaps not only a daily basis but during their tenure of their official. I actually don't know how they do it, but as an actor it was interesting to have to play that and to make that fateful decision to either go ahead or to not go ahead. And of course MacArthur did go ahead and the rest is history."
Operation Chromite is considered to be one of the most brilliant in 20th-century warfare along with the Normandy "D-Day" landings. Liam Neeson admitted that he got very nervous in tackling such an iconic character, but director John H. Lee revealed that he wanted to depict MacArthur as a leader with real flaws. Here's what the director had to say.
"I think [a hero] is someone who can realize the impossible; not someone who is perfect, but someone like MacArthur or Lee Jung-jae's spy character, who overcomes obstacles in dire situations and makes great sacrifices. There are heroes around us in our everyday lives, not just during wartime. I wanted to portray a very human hero in a genuine way. Though my movie deals with a story that takes place in the 1950s, I wanted to make a spy movie that translates to contemporary viewers, not only here in Korea but across the globe in various languages."
Operation Chromite is set to be released in China, the U.K., Germany, and the Middle East, among other parts of Europe and Asia. Local production company Taewon Entertainment struck a U.S. distribution deal with Kino Entertainment, and the film will be released over 300 screens through CJ Entertainment America next month. As for the impending hack attack, we'll be sure to keep you posted if anything happens to the studios that release Operation Chromite, and take a look at a photo of Liam Neeson as General MacArthur below.