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North Korea takes aim at James Franco and Seth Rogen’s new assassination flick

Seth Rogen and James Franco will not be doing any junkets for "The Interview" in North Korea. (Stuart Ramson/Associated Press)

Kim Jong Un is not amused.

An upcoming comedy by James Franco and Seth Rogen has drawn the attention of Pyongyang for its depiction of a scheme to assassinate North Korea's supreme leader.

Franco and Rogen play "celebrity journalists" who land an interview with Kim, which prompts the CIA to recruit them in an assassination plot.

"Want to go kill Kim Jong Un?" Franco's character says in the movie trailer for "The Interview."

"Totally, I'd love to assassinate Kim Jong Un – it's a date," Rogen's character says.

A Pyongyang spokesman made it clear that the North Korean regime doesn't appreciate this particular brand of comedic storytelling.

"There is a special irony in this story line as it shows the desperation of the U.S. government and American society," Kim Myong Chol told Britain's Telegraph newspaper in an interview. "A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the U.S. has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine."

"And let us not forget who killed [President John F.] Kennedy – Americans," he added.

On the other hand, according to Kim Myong Chol, who is considered an unofficial spokesman for the regime, North Korea's leader does plan to see the film when it's released in October.

The film's premise seems to be a hat tip to Vice media journalists who have made several treks to North Korea -- even taking along retired NBA player Dennis Rodman.

In an interview this month, Rogen confirmed that the filmmakers consulted with the Vice journalists who have gone to North Korea.

"We read as much as we could that was available on the subject. We talked to the guys from Vice who actually went to North Korea and met Kim Jong Un," he told Yahoo News. "We talked to people in the government whose job it is to associate with North Korea, or be experts on it."

Despite some concerns by Columbia Pictures and others about featuring a sitting world leader in a Hollywood plot, Rogen felt confident that in this case, the truth was in fact stranger than fiction, he told Yahoo.

"It's an unlimited supply of craziness," Rogen added.

Here, Kim Jong Un "gives field guidance" on a remodeling project. The undated photo was released last week by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency. (Reuters/KCNA)

Watch the full trailer here:

Abby Phillip is a national political reporter for the Washington Post. She can be reached at On Twitter: @abbydphillip



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