But a second report from the Re/Code included a statement from Sony disputing reports that it had made up its mind.
Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Sony spokeswoman Lauren Condoluci of Rubenstein Communications told Re/Code that "Sony is still exploring options for distribution," adding that the New York Post story was "incorrect." The film, of course, is believed to the reason that hackers allegedly backed by North Korea stole countless documents, e-mails and personal records from the studio.
Sony has fielded harsh criticism since it made the decision to cancel the Christmas Day distribution of the movie, in response to hackers who mentioned "9/11" in threats against theaters that screen the film. President Obama said Friday that while he was "sympathetic" to the studio's situation, he believed that Sony made a "mistake" in capitulating to those threats."
"We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States," he said.
Others have commented on the possible chilling effect that Sony's decision could have on freedom of expression. In fact, another distributor, New Regency, has already halted its plans to release "Pyongyang." That movie was set in North Korea and starred Steve Carrell; it was based on a graphic novel about an American working in North Korea.
In remarks to Deadline last week, actor George Clooney said that Sony Pictures wants to distribute "The Interview" to make a stand for free expression. But he also expects it will become more difficult to find someone to distribute serious films.
"What’s going to happen is, you’re going to have trouble finding distribution," Clooney told Deadline. "In general, when you’re doing films like that, the ones that are critical, those aren’t going to be studio films anyway. Most of the movies that got us in trouble, we started out by raising the money independently. But to distribute, you’ve got to go to a studio, because they’re the ones that distribute movies. "
In a tweet Sunday, director Michael Moore -- certainly no stranger to controversy -- made clear what he felt about Sony's decision in a tweet showing the iconic Hollywood sign in a new configuration: