In case you missed it, Sony Pictures has been forced to cancel the theatrical release of The Interview after hackers have released a catastrophic trove of private emails and scripts, and threatened to bomb theaters showing the film—and theater owners began saying they wouldn’t carry it. The film follows a pair of bumbling journalists sent to North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong Un, and apparently, Supreme Leader did not like this plot line.

The repercussions of this Hollywood disaster will be felt for years to come, but one piece of collateral damage was a planned adaptation of Pyongyang, Guy DeLisle’s graphic novel about his two months spent in the North Korean capital working on an animation project. New Regency has pulled the plug on the project which was to have starred Steve Carrell and be directed by Gore Verbinski from a Steve Conrad script. However the log line for the movie bears little resemblance to the book that I read:

Based on the graphic novel by Guy Delisle, “Pyongyang” is a paranoid thriller about a Westerner’s experiences working in North Korea for a year.

Delisle spent two months living in North Korea’s capital, where according to Wikipedia, he struggled with the difficulties of outsourcing and the bureaucracy of the totalitarian closed state. He was authorized to bring Aphex Twin CDs, Gitanes cigarettes, Hennessy cognac and a copy of George Owell’s novel “1984,” but left the country with no expectations to ever return.

I wouldn’t call the book a paranoid thriller, but rather a wry observation on life, as with DeLisle’s other all excellent books, Shenzen, Burma Chronicles and Jerusalem. Guy is the real deal.

Well, for now you can still just go buy his books and not worry about getting your emails hacked, so show the terrorists haven’t won by getting a copy of Pyongyang!


  1. I have bought like ten copies of Pyongyang over the years (obviously all but one have been gifts)…it is my favorite graphic novel of all time…it’s an excellent read and the best of Delisle’s travelogue type books (Jerusalem is solid, Burma and Shenzen are ok)

  2. I agree with commenter Alex, best graphic book I’ve read. “Paranoid Thriller” ? NOT! It took North Korea and not an intelligent movie executive to put a stop to that? C’est incroyable! Sounds like it would have made a terrible movie, and ruin the beauty of Delisle’s book!

  3. Dottie – I get what you’re saying. A studio exec should have killed the Pyongyang film. We shouldn’t have had to rely on NK to bring sanity to the situation. It’s a shame we didn’t have North Korea around to threaten to bomb any shop carrying the Panera “Doggy Style Masturbation” Spider-Woman cover, eh? We could have kept that thing from being released.

    Well, at least once ISIS hears about this, Hollywood will stop making crap pro-war films like “Zero Dark Thirty.” Remember, all it takes is an antonymous threat against retailers and theaters. The Jesus-Freaks could have stopped Fox from airing “Cosmos” quite easily.

  4. Well, since ISIS has been brought into this – I guess that it’s a good thing that Persepolis was made into a movie a couple of years back, as now it would be debatable whether Hollywood would have the balls to do that. *head desk*

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