Apple turned down the opportunity to distribute the controversial movie The Interview on iTunes, despite a plea from Sony to the White House aimed at getting Cupertino on board.
Sony hoped Apple would step up as its sole “technology partner” to distribute the film, according to The New York Times.
The comedy, which co-stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as broadcast journalists sent on a mission to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, raised the ire of hackers, who threatened violence if the film was released on Christmas day.
Sony first canceled the film’s release, then flip-flopped and will open The Interview at select independent theaters Thursday despite threats from the hackers, who are reportedly from North Korea.
It’s not yet clear which streaming-media outlets will distributing the movie, or at what point (if any) The Interview will show up on iTunes. Apple is, however, continuing to distribute the North Korea-baiting comedy Team America: World Police, which also recently came under scrutiny, due to its depiction of former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.
Apple hasn’t made any public comment about the current furor over The Interview. It’s a shame the company turned down Sony’s offer, however, not least because it would have been payback against North Korea for ripping off OS X with its state-owned operating system.
Then again, Sony is a company that competes against Apple in a number of areas. Plus, Sony Pictures recently threw in the towel on the Aaron Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs movie.