Earlier this month, film studio Universal cancelled its planned September release of new Blumhouse thriller The Hunt in the wake of the two latest mass shootings in the US. But in a new interview, prolific producer and Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum has said he hopes the film will find its way into cinemas at some point.
The Hunt‘s release was dropped after the tragic events in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio in early August. The “satirical social thriller,” which follows a group of 12 strangers who wake up in a sort-of human game reserve before being hunted by a group of “elites” had also attracted the ire of President Donald Trump and Fox News. All of the film’s trailers and marketing materials were swiftly pulled, with Universal stating: “We understand that now is not the right time to release this film.”
Speaking in an interview with Vulture, Blum said that while he had learned some lessons to do with the marketing of The Hunt, he definitely didn’t regret making it. “If I was offered the choice to make the movie again, I would say yes,” he said. “We definitely made marketing mistakes, and we made plenty of mistakes along the way. So I’ve learned a lot. It might change how I would position movies and how I would consult on the marketing of the movies. But actually the making of the movies? No.”
The Hunt‘s synopsis reveals that the film sees “a bunch of elites” gathering at a luxury, remote manor house to hunt humans for sport. But the tables are turned when one of the hunted, Crystal (played by GLOW‘s Betty Gilpin) bests the hunters at their own game, taking them out one-by-one as she works her way towards “the mysterious woman at the centre of it all” (Hilary Swank).
When asked if there was a likelihood that The Hunt could still receive a theatrical release at some point in the future, Blum confirmed that there was “definitely a chance…I hope so.” Universal, meanwhile, is staying quiet on that front for now.
The Hunt‘s director, Craig Zobel (Compliance, Z For Zachariah), is also hopeful that the film could still get a release, but is aware of the current pitfalls, telling Variety recently that he backed the studio’s move. “In the wake of these horrific events, we immediately considered what it meant for the timing of our film,” he revealed. “Once inaccurate assumptions about the content and intent of the movie began to take hold, I supported the decision to move the film off its release date.”
“If I believed this film could incite violence, I wouldn’t have made it,” Zobel continued, in reference to the criticisms that The Hunt faced from certain corners before it was pulled. “I wanted to make a fun, action thriller that satirised this moment in our culture – where we jump to assume we know someone’s beliefs because of which ‘team’ we think they’re on…and then start shouting at them. This rush to judgement is one of the most relevant problems of our time.”
We’ll bring you more news on a release for The Hunt as we have it.
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