Fox & New Regency Cancel Steve Carell's North Korea Set Thriller
Briefly: For those who didn't know, 20th Century Fox and New Regency were developing a thriller starring Steve Carell. We heard about this project back in October, but details were sparse on the story other than that it was a paranoia thriller. Now new details have emerged, but only because the project has been scrapped entirely. Deadline reports the film that was going to begin production in March, but the setting of the film was North Korea. And due to the recent uproar of threats to the US from the country due to the comedy The Interview, which has resulted in the film being pulled from theaters, the project is now dead.
Here's how Steve Carell responded to today's events:
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) December 18, 2014
Sad day for creative expression. #feareatsthesoul
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) December 17, 2014
It's not clear why the location couldn't just be changed, for the film that would have been directed by Pirates of the Caribbean franchise helmer Gore Verbinski from a script by Steve Conrad, but it's apparently not an option. The film was called Pyongyang, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Guy Deslisle, and it would have followed the author's travels in North Korea, made possible by a work visa obtained for his gig working on a children's cartoon show. Verbinski released this quote on the news:
Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have been told in no uncertain words that based on the situation at Sony, Fox has now decided to not distribute the film. Without a distributor, New Regency was forced to shut the film down.
My thoughts: I find it ironic that fear is eliminating the possibility to tell stories that depict our ability to overcome fear.
Remember when the remake of Red Dawn which changed its villains from being Chinese in post-production to avoid any potential conflict. The irony there is that the villains were changed to be North Korea, but that wasn't enough to piss them off back then. But still, this is just one more victory for our enemies as we let fear guide business decisions, even when there's no credible threat to national security. Who knows what other projects will be shut down in the wake of these insane events and reactions to cowardly threats.