Sony Picture attacked by Russian hackers not North Korea
A man looks at The Interview's poster at the film's LA premiere. Reuters

Sony Pictures has made a dramatic U-turn and given the nod for cinemas to show controversial comedy The Interview on Christmas Day.

In spite of hacks on Sony and mounting tension with North Korea regarding the subject of the film, with the plot line being an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un, selected cinemas in the US have now been given authorisation to show the James Franco and Seth Rogen film.

"We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theatres on Christmas Day," Sony Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement.

Lynton added it is working on securing "more platforms and more theatres so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience".

He said: "I want to thank our talent on The Interview and our employees, who have worked tirelessly through the many challenges we have all faced over the last month. While we hope this is only the first step of the film's release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech."

Cinemas in Atlanta and Austin have already announced their intentions to screen the film.

Sony came under fire last week for caving in to North Korean intimidation after three major US theatre chains refused to screen the film and Sony cancelled its release, with US President Barack Obama branding the decision "a mistake".