While the new poster and trailer for Blumhouse’s delayed dark comedy “The Hunt” seem to lean in to the controversy generated by the film last year, those involved say the original talk and bluster surrounding the planned original release was all blown out of proportion.
Jason Blum and Damon Lindelof produce the film which follows twelve strangers who mysteriously wake up in a forest clearing only to discover that they are being hunted for sport by a group of rich liberal elites. Betty Gilpin, Ike Barinholtz, Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, Ethan Suplee and Justin Hartley star.
Universal held off on releasing the movie late last summer after the trailer launch for it awkwardly came just before three mass shootings, turning the film into a talking point for numerous media outlets and even U.S. President Donald Trump.
Producer Jason Blum and co-writer/producer Damon Lindelof, speaking with Heat Vision, say the decision to pull the film from the schedule was a mutual decision between Blumhouse and Universal. Blum says:
“For us there was just a fundamental frustration that nobody was talking about the movie. They were all talking about what their perception of the movie was – a perception that was largely formed based on all the events in the aftermath of the horrific weekend before. [But] we really don’t want to be pointing fingers, and more importantly, we don’t want to be wagging fingers at anyone for overreacting or reacting incorrectly.
We just felt like the movie was being misunderstood. It [the film] was read as a satire, no different from ‘Joker’ or other movies that are violent. It was read as a movie that didn’t take sides… The audience is smart enough to know that what they’re seeing is a satire and it’s preposterous.”
Lindelof meanwhile tells Variety: “This is not a dangerous movie. This is not a provocative movie. This is not a divisive movie. I think the big shift between now and then is that more people have seen it and they’ve responded positively.”
The movie is now set to open theatrically on Friday, March 13th.