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Sony cancels 'The Interview' release; Rob Lowe, Jimmy Kimmel, more celebrities react

From left, Diana Bang, as Sook, Seth Rogen,

From left, Diana Bang, as Sook, Seth Rogen, as Aaron, and James Franco, as Dave, in "The Interview." Credit: AP / Ed Araquel

The entertainment industry reacted Thursday to theater chains' and Sony Pictures' unprecedented decisions Wednesday to cancel an American film release because of terror threats.

Rob Lowe, who appears in the held film, "The Interview," tweeted, "Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won," referring to cyberterrorists who hacked Sony, claiming it was in response to the film, a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted that the cancellation was an "un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent."

"I think it is disgraceful that these theaters are not showing 'The Interview,' " wrote filmmaker Judd Apatow, one of the harshest critics, in a series of tweets over the past two days. "Will they pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now?"

The fallout also killed plans by production company New Regency to develop a North Korea-set movie set to star Steve Carell, reported

The film, which some reports said was tentatively titled "Pyongyang" (after that nation's capital), was to be directed by Gore Verbinski ("Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"). It was based on a graphic novel about an American working in North Korea, and was supposed to start shooting in Serbia in March.

Meanwhile, some independent theaters had said they had planned to screen Paramount Pictures' 2004 "Team America: World Police" -- a satirical action-comedy from the creators of "South Park," which vilified the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il -- but Cleveland's Capitol Theater tweeted that the studio would not allow it.

When asked for confirmation, a Paramount spokeswoman told Newsday the studio had no comment.

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