Trump Slammed Film, Universal Shelved It. It's About to Debut

New marketing campaign for 'The Hunt' launched ahead of March release
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2020 11:00 AM CST

The Hunt has a release date. The controversial film in which a group of liberal elites hunt conservatives for sport hits theaters March 13, with not a single scene changed since Universal Pictures opted to shelve the film in the wake of mass shootings last year, per the New York Times. But this time around, there's a whole new marketing campaign that downplays the horror. A trailer released Tuesday accurately presents the film as a satire that "pokes fun at both sides," producer Jason Blum tells Deadline. "In the early marketing, people took away a different message." Indeed, the emphasis was on horror, since "satires are hard to explain to a mass audience," per the Times. President Trump was among those riled. He claimed the film was made by "racist" liberals "in order to inflame and cause chaos."

But "the movie [Trump] was talking about was not the movie I feel that we made," Blum tells the Times. "It's possible that people will see this movie and say it's irresponsible or is a call to violence," adds co-writer Damon Lindelof. "But the morality of the movie has always felt very clean to us ... It's all so over the top and absurd." Deadline's Anthony D'Alessandro, who was able to view the film directed by Craig Zobel and inspired by Jordan Peele's Get Out, notes the heroine, played by Betty Gilpin, is "a red state denizen" who turns the hunters—namely, a wealthy executive played by Hilary Swank—into the hunted. Overall, it's "a great ride, and very much in the spirit of The Purge in regard to being a genre film laced with a satirical social commentary," he writes, noting a sequel is possible. (Read more movies stories.)

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