Universal's The Hunt may be on the way to a Guinness record for most news that has ever been released for a movie whose marketing campaign has been canceled and the release date has been postponed, that it is not the specific content of The Hunt that (as it were) sets a goal on its back, but the unfortunate timing of the film in the US political cycle and the increasingly frequent epidemic of mass shootings. Franchise Purge also distributed by Universal and supported by Blumhouse, has seen four films and a television series and is unbeatable in terms of social commentary, political satire, or willful behavior. So, what's the difference to The Hunt ?
Speaking to Variety Craig Zobel commented on the film's difficult journey in recent weeks. It feels a bit uncomfortable, especially as Zobel appeals to the argument "we just wanted to entertain everyone", while at the same time Universal stands behind the rejection of the film and denounces how well he was received by the test audience. It is bizarre. But The Hunt is not a high-water mark for the political divide nor for the increasingly divisive entertainment industry, but simply a title that was caught in the crossfire.
The following had to be said by Zobel:
"If I had thought that this film could provoke violence, I would not have been able to on both sides of the aisle. We want to entertain and unite, not anger and split. It's up to viewers to decide what they want to take with them … I wanted to make a fun action thriller mocking that moment in our culture – and assuming that we know the beliefs of someone 39; team & # 39; we believe that she & # 39; re on … and then start shouting at her. This haste for judgment is one of the most important problems of our time.
The point here is that the mood in the heart of the film, at least as Zobel describes it, was, ironically, the very real subject that has torpedoed the film itself. People responded to something they did not fully understand and did not understand, or took the time to try to understand it. Universal / Blumhouse's own sullen marketing campaign did not really help clarify what the movie was about, and taking out a page from The Purge seems to have failed this time.
Sable praised Universal for "taking a risk to light a movie that is not based on previous intellectual property" , and confirmed that the script has not changed significantly during production of any kind of pressure from top to bottom, be it studio or political. Zobel also supported the studio's postponement of the release of the film after the mass shootings in early August:
"I was devastated when I went to El Paso and woke up with Dayton. Such moments happen too often. After these terrible events, we immediately thought about what it means for the timing of our movie. After making inaccurate assumptions about the content and intent of the movie, I supported the decision to postpone the movie from the release date.
Oddly enough, Universal still plays the game "Actually" with the film, stressing a statement that The Hunt was "very well received" by the test audience and one of the highest test scores for an original Blumhouse Film scored. " The film,"; Universal also confirmed that the working title was never Red State v. Blue State .
Zobel's final thoughts on the condition of the film are as follows:
"My hope would be that people think about why we are in this moment when we do not feel like listening to each other? And if I'm lucky, some will ask themselves: how did we get here? And where do we want to move forward? "
This is a big question for an American audience that seems to be increasingly politically, racially, socially, or even bizarrely splitting from the conversation we consume, we can tell the difference between reality and fiction that we see on screens see, do not recognize anymore, these are really weird times.