'The Interview' was originally scripted with fake country, fake leader's name

Anna Kooiman reports from New York City


What if “The Interview” never actually named North Korea or Kim Jong-un?

In an early draft of the script, it didn’t, writer Dan Sterling revealed in an interview with Creative Screenwriting.

He said he wrote the script back in 2011 and it included a fake name for the leader portrayed and a fake country.

“Sasha [Baron Cohen] was getting ready with ‘The Dictator,’ so he sort of cornered the market on Middle Eastern tyranny jokes around that time,” Sterling said. “I went and wrote the script with a fake name and fake country, but after discussing the project with Seth [Rogen], Evan [Goldberg] and the executives at Sony, we decided I ought to try writing it with Kim Jong-un. Once it was in there, we knew it was the way to go.”

He added that he never imagined his comedy would be taken so seriously.

“When I set out to write the script for The Interview, I didn’t know if anyone would ever make the movie, and it certainly didn’t occur to me that the people we are making fun of would take it seriously. Turns out I was naïve; they did take it seriously,” Sterling said. “Very seriously.”

After Sony’s hackers made terror threats, the film was scrapped by the studio, and it won’t hit theaters on Dec. 25 as planned.

Click here to read Sterling’s entire interview with Creative Screenwriting.