by Jay Tilles
Although talks between Sony and YouTube had been rumored for the past few days, CBS Los Angeles is reporting a deal has been struck and the online streaming giant will offer The Interview starting today at 10am PST/1pm EST.
YouTube will employ its relatively unused rental system for the movie’s stream. The online stream will cost $5.99 or $14.99 to purchase.
The news comes less than a day after Sony Pictures approved the Christmas Day release of the controversial comedy.
“It’s has always been Sony’s intention to have a national platform on which to release the film,” CEO and Chairman Michael Lynton said in a press release this morning. “With that in mind, we reached out to Google, Microsoft and other partners last Wednesday, December 17th, when it became clear our initial release plans were not possible. We are please we can now join with our partners to offer the film nation-wide today.”
Related: 5 Spoilers from The Interview
“It was essential for our studio to release this movie, especially give the assault upon our business and our employees by those who wanted to stop free speech,” Lynton continued. “We chose the path of digital distribution first as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release.” Read the full statement below.
In addition to the YouTube stream, movie fans can also watch the film via Google Play, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and this website starting today.
Announced yesterday, Sony approved the Christmas Day theatrical release with a list of more than 250 independent theaters followed by more than 80 additional theaters on Jan. 1. The Film Stage has compiled a list of all theaters planning to screen the film.
The film’s director took to twitter to celebrate.
Thanks to everyone who didn't give up on our movie! @Sethrogen & I are humbled & overwhelmed by your support. Hope you enjoy the film!—
Evan Goldberg (@evandgoldberg) December 23, 2014