The Hunt is officially un-cancelled.
The horror movie, which tells the story of a group of wealthy elites that kidnaps and hunts “normal folk” from middle America for sport, will be released in cinemas in an about-face for Universal, which shelved the movie indefinitely last year following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
Universal announced that the movie will open March 13, six months after the studio yanked the movie from its schedule. The Blumhouse production stars Hilary Swank as the ringleader who organizes the hunt, as well as Ike Barinholtz, Amy Madigan, Emma Roberts, and Ethan Suplee.
A new trailer for the movie debuted online Tuesday. Unlike last year’s trailer that promoted the movie as a darkly humorous smack down between liberals and deplorables, the new spot plays up the layers of ambiguity in the narrative, suggesting that not everything is as it seems.
— The Hunt (@TheHuntMov) February 11, 2020
Producer Jason Blum and screenwriter Damon Lindelof told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday that they didn’t intend to make a film to exacerbate current political divisions. “None of us were interested in taking sides with this movie,” Blum told the magazine.
Lindelof said: “We think that people who see it are going to enjoy it and this may be a way to shine a light on a very serious problem in the country, which is that we’re divided. And we think the movie may actually, ironically, bring people together.”
The cancellation of the movie last year led to a storm of media coverage. Even President Donald Trump weighed in, saying that The Hunt was intended to “inflame and cause chaos.”
….to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2019
The director of The Hunt told Variety last year that his intention was to “entertain and unify” audiences, and to poke fun at both sides of the political divide.
Craig Zobel said that the movie has been misunderstood and that media reports distorted its satirical intentions.
“Our ambition was to poke at both sides of the aisle equally,” the writer-director told the trade publication. “We seek to entertain and unify, not enrage and divide. It is up to the viewers to decide what their takeaway will be.”