Seth Rogen is not backing down. North Korea's official news agency has called Rogen's new comedy "The Interview," about two journalists sent to assassinate leader Kim Jong-un, an "act of war" that would draw a "resolute and merciless response" when it is released this fall. But the comedian laughed off the threat in a tweet Wednesday.
Co-stars James Franco and Randall Park have not publicly commented on the controversy.
This isn't Hollywood's first time poking fun at dictatorial leaderships, or even at North Korea itself. "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone took on Kim's father, Kim Jong-il, in 2004's "Team America: World Police." In 2012, Sacha Baron Cohen lampooned Saddam Hussein-style governance in "The Dictator."
So far, Rogen's film flap is merely a battle of words: Kim Myong-chol, director of the Center for North Korea–U.S. Peace and an unofficial spokesman for North Korea, denounced the film in an interview with The Telegraph last week while granting that leader Kim probably would still see the movie. That prompted an amused tweet from Rogen saying he hopes the leader enjoys it.
Reps for Columbia Pictures, the film's studio, have not commented.
"The Interview" is set to open in theaters October 10.