A soon-to-be-released comedy film about a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will likely be a "blockbuster" thanks to the strong protests Pyongyang has raised about it, the U.S. human rights envoy said Friday.
The North has expressed strong anger about the movie, "The Interview," which tells the story of two Americans journalists who land an interview with the North's leader in Pyongyang but are then recruited by the CIA to kill him.
"It will probably be a blockbuster when it comes out thanks to what the North Koreans have done," Amb. Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, said during a Woodrow Wilson Center forum. "If they were trying to discourage people from seeing the move, they did the exact wrong thing."
Pyongyang's foreign ministry has denounced the movie as "the most undisguised terrorism" and "a war action" and warned of "a strong and merciless countermeasure" if the "U.S. administration connives at and patronizes the screening of the film."
The movie is now scheduled to be released in the U.S. and Canada on Dec. 25.
It had originally been scheduled to be released in October, but the release date was postponed following strong protests from the North. Sony Pictures, the film's distributor, was also reported to have made some alterations to the film.
"We don't tell American moviemakers how to make their movies.
There are a lot of movies I've seen that I think probably would have been better not made ... We are in a society where people would want to show movies and want to create movies," King said.
The North's protests have generated "sufficient interest" in the film, he said.
"What probably would have been a movie that has some attention for 20-30 year-old males will now be released on Christmas Day, rather than released in September," King said. (Yonhap)