Rogen is the co-director, co-writer, and star of the upcoming film “The Interview,” which is set to be released this October. Rogen and his “This Is the End” co-star James Franco portray journalists who plan an interview with Kim Jong-un but are asked by the CIA to assassinate the leader.
The government of North Korea is apparently not pleased with the idea of the film, according to the country's news agency KCNA, who spoke with an anonymous foreign ministry spokesperson.
According to the Washington Post, the spokesperson for the North Korean Foreign Ministry did not name the movie but said in a statement that “making and releasing a movie on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated.”
The spokesperson went on to say that “if the U.S. administration allows and defends the showing of the film, a merciless counter-measure will be taken."
The idea of the film had created a “gust of hatred and rage” among North Korean citizens, the spokesperson said, though, as noted by the Guardian, “ordinary North Koreans are probably unaware of [the movie’s] existence and, with very few exceptions, will never get to see it.”
Executive director of The Centre for North Korea-US Peace and unofficial government spokesperson Kim Myong-chol had disparaged the plot line of the film in an interview with the Telegraph earlier this month.
“There is a special irony in this storyline as it shows the desperation of the US government and American society," he said. “A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. And let us not forget who killed [President John F.] Kennedy – Americans. In fact, President [Barack] Obama should be careful in case the US military wants to kill him as well.”
However, he said he thinks Kim would most likely see the film.
In response to that interview, Rogen tweeted, “Apparently Kim Jong Un plans on watching #TheInterview. I hope he likes it!!”
“The Interview” also stars “True Blood” actress Lizzy Caplan and Randall Park of “Veep,” who portrays the North Korean leader.