LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “The Interview” was made available for rent and purchase online Wednesday morning.

Starting at 10 a.m., the controversial film, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, was available to rent in high definition on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and Kernel for $5.99 or purchase for $14.99, the company said in a statement just after 9 a.m.

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“It’s has always been Sony’s intention to have a national platform on which to release the film,” CEO and Chairman Michael Lynton said. “With that in mind, we reached out to Google, Microsoft and other partners last Wednesday, December 17th, when it became clear our initial release plans were not possible. We are please we can now join with our partners to offer the film nation-wide today.”

Google officials also released a statement on their blog.

“Last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we’d be able to make their movie, ‘The Interview’, available online,” said David Drummond, SVP Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer.

“Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be).”

Actors Seth Rogen and James Franco both tweeted to fans when the movie became available online.

“You wanna watch The Interview?? You can RIGHT. . .NOW!! Go to . Thanks Sony for making it happen. Booyah,” Rogen said.

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He then recommended fans should see it in theaters.

Several Southland locations, including Regency Theaters, Tristone Cinemas in Riverside and Vintage Cinemas in Los Feliz, said Tuesday they will screen the film on Christmas Day. Laemmle Theater in North Hollywood will have showings on New Year’s Eve.

Sony originally made an announcement last week canceling the film’s theatrical release after several of the largest movie theater chains refused to show it.

The entertainment company was hacked by a group identified as “Guardians of Peace”, which also threatened theaters and moviegoers citing the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

“It was essential for our studio to release this movie, especially give the assault upon our business and our employees by those who wanted to stop free speech,” Lynton said. “We chose the path of digital distribution first as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release.”

FBI officials said the North Korean government was responsible for the cyber attack and the threats that followed, but a new investigation focuses on a former employee with ties to the terrorist group.

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