Perhaps it was only a matter of time before James Franco found himself in the middle of an international incident.
The multi-hyphenate actor and provocateur's upcoming comedy, "The Interview," about the attempted assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, has been blasted by Pyongyang.
A spokesperson for the regime told the Telegraph that the movie "shows the desperation of the U.S. government and American society."
Co-starring Seth Rogen and set for release Oct. 10 from Sony, "The Interview" tells the story of a talk-show host and his producer who score an interview with the elusive autocrat (played by Randall Park), only to be asked by the CIA to use the opportunity to kill him. Slapstick intrigue ensues.
Kim Myong Chol, executive director of the Centre for North Korea-U.S. Peace and an unofficial spokesman for the North Korean regime, doesn't find the pitch so amusing.
"A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the U.S. has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine," he said. "And let us not forget who killed [President John F.] Kennedy — Americans."
He enigmatically added, "In fact, President [Barack] Obama should be careful in case the U.S. military wants to kill him as well."
Like his late father, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un is believed to be a fan of Western movies. The elder Kim was a noted film buff who reportedly owned more than 20,000 video cassettes and DVDs and wrote several treatises on cinema.
In recent years, however, Hollywood movies have not been flattering in their portrayal of the rogue nation. James Bond was tortured there in 2002's "Die Another Day," Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "Team America: World Police" lampooned Kim Jong Il in 2004, and the 2012 remake of "Red Dawn" saw North Korean invaders repelled by a band of plucky teenagers.
Despite the subject matter of "The Interview," Kim Myong Chol said the North Korean leader would probably watch the movie.
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