The Hunt made waves last summer when the first official trailer dropped and showed some serious promise. From writer-producer Damon Lindelof and director Craig Zobel, The Hunt was described as an action-thriller in which elites hunt humans for sport, and was set to hit theaters on September 27, 2019. However, in the wake of a mass shooting and a cryptic tweet from the President of the United States, Universal opted to pause the marketing push for The Hunt before deciding to cancel the release of the movie entirely. Today, however, Universal has announced with a new trailer that the release of The Hunt is back on—it’ll hit theaters on March 13th of this year.
After the initial cancellation, Zobel spoke out about the situation and the movie itself. He said, “If I believed this film could incite violence, I wouldn’t have made it,” and also added, “Our ambition was to poke at both sides of the aisle equally.” He went on to call The Hunt “a fun action thriller that satirized 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.” And you know what? I’ve now seen The Hunt and Zobel’s description of the movie is spot-on.
The issue here seems to be the marketing campaign. Did that first trailer sell a fun, satirical action thriller? Not really. But Universal Pictures has officially given the film a new release date – March 13, 2020 – and they’re setting the record straight on what you’ll get from The Hunt in a brand new trailer for the movie and also a new poster that embraces the controversy.
After a private screening of the film which Collider attended with a few other reporters, Lindelof spoke a bit how the promotional push has changed, highlighting that there’s been a big tonal shift:
“I think that this is not about mistakes being made or course corrections or damage control in so much as the movie was always meant to be absurdist … But I think that the sense of play, the sense of absurdity, the over the top-edness of the movie were not being reflected the first time around, which is why it’s easier to understand what happened given its proximity to real world events. The more heightened we sell the movie, the more reflective I think of the movie that we made is.”
Check out the new trailer and synopsis for yourself below, and click here for much more from Lindelof and Blum on the “controversy” and initial cancellation. The Hunt stars Betty Gilpin, Ike Barinholtz, Emma Roberts, and Hilary Swank.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Hunt:
The most talked about movie of the year is the one nobody has seen … yet.
Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are, or how they got there. They don’t know they’ve been chosen… for a very specific purpose … The Hunt.
In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, a group of elites gathers for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt ordinary Americans for sport. But the elites’ master plan is about to be derailed because one of The Hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, GLOW), knows The Hunters’ game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off, one by one, as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman (two-time Oscar® winner Hilary Swank) at the center of it all.
From Jason Blum, the producer of Get Out and The Purge series, and Damon Lindelof, creator of the HBO series Watchmen and co-creator of the TV series Lost, comes a timely and provocative new satirical thriller that has already ignited a national conversation. Now, it’s time to decide for yourself.