How Much Can Franco and Rogen Offend North Korea? A Lot

The new, raunchy red-band trailer for James Franco and Seth Rogen’s controversial political thriller-comedy The Interview has come out, and now we can see more of exactly why the government of North Korea will likely only get more angry about the movie. All that drama will probably only make it rake in more money at the box office, though, as Franco and Rogen’s bizarre humor looks like it’s at its best, and all the attention surrounding the political controversy will only pack more people into theaters.

“It’s our attempt to make our version of a big political spy thriller,” Rogen told Indiewire in the spring. “But starring me and James Franco. It’s kind of the formula we always do which is we take a genre we like and add idiots to it. It’s like This Is The End is a horror movie with idiots in it and Pineapple Express is an ’80s action movie with idiots in it. So this is our 3 Days of Condor with idiots in it.”

The plot of the movie involves Franco playing the character David Skylark, the very successful host of a celebrity-focused talk show produced by Rogen’s character, who longs to cover more serious news. When the pair learns that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they decide to interview him. At this point the CIA, with a head agent played by Masters of Sex’s Lizzy Caplan, asks the bumbling duo to assassinate him while they’re at it.

When the first, much tamer, trailer for the movie came out, the government of North Korea made it very clear that they were unhappy with the fact that the U.S. was allowing such a movie to be made. The government of North Korea released a statement, per The New York Times, in June that called the movie “an act of war,” saying: “If the United States administration tacitly approves or supports the release of this film, we will take a decisive and merciless countermeasure.”

All that, of course, only got more attention for the movie, which hits theaters Christmas Day. This Is the End made $101 million during its run in theaters, and Pineapple Express made $87 million, according to figures from Box Office Mojo. With all the controversy, plus a guest-starring spot for Caplan, whose role on Masters of Sex has garnered her huge amounts of acclaim this year while maybe causing it to slip the minds of some that she is also very funny, the film stands to top This Is the End at the box office and pull in a very large haul for an R-rated comedy.

This was before the trailer in which Franco calls Kim Jong-un a “butt-fuck” and the leader’s naked, jiggling rear is depicted, so it remains to be seen how or if North Korea will respond further. It’s possible we could all be killed because of Franco and Rogen’s attempt to make an idiotic political thriller.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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