Universal’s The Hunt movie remains uncertain after ads are pulled

A scene from the movie "The Hunt"
A scene from The Hunt with Emma Roberts. Pic. credit: Universal

Universal has just started their campaign to promote Blumhouse’s The Hunt movie but in light of recent events, promotion of the film has been stalled. After the three recent deadly massacres (where 34 people died in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; and Gilroy, California) Universal is re-evaluating how to promote the film.

Though The Hunt is meant to be political satire, it is also a violent R-rated film that some believe was made in poor taste. Some TV networks have responded by pulling ads for the movie including ESPN.

Originally titled Red State Vs. Blue State, The Hunt is based on the script by Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse which features rich people wanting to get away from it all and vacation at some place called The Manor and participate in The Hunt which is like no other.

As it turns out, these elite people are liberals who will hunt down a dozen conservatives who do not know where they are or how they got there. However, there is a twist to the story. One of those being hunted (played by Betty Gilpin) is actually equipped to fight off this group and begins to hunt them down as well in order to get to the woman (played by Hilary Swank) who is at the center of all of this madness.

Universal had planned for a big promotion of The Hunt in September, but those plans appear to be put on hold or at least, re-thought out. According to The Hollywood Reporter, some high-level executives feel strongly that Craig Zobel’s film is a “satire addressing an issue of great social importance.” Even so, they admit that they are concerned about how Universal will be perceived if viewers see the film as “exploitative rather than opinionated.”

While a movie featuring violent killings as sport presented as entertainment is already questionable, The Hunt goes a bit further.

“The script for The Hunt features the red-state characters wearing trucker hats and cowboy shirts, with one bragging about owning seven guns because it’s his constitutional right. The blue-state characters — some equally adept with firearms — explain that they picked their targets because they expressed anti-choice positions or used the N-word on Twitter,” says The Hollywood Reporter.

The Hollywood Reporter also stated that some employees of Universal were not on board with the film and quoted one filmmaker with ties to the studio asking the burning question, “In light of the horrific [recent shootings], is this not the most craven, irresponsible, dangerous exploitation?”

In response, a Universal executive was also quoted explaining that the film “is meant to show what a stupid, crazy world we live in,” and even added, “It might even be more powerful now.”

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