We were all somewhat dismayed when The Hunt was abruptly canceled following a string of deadly shootings across the US. At the time, Universal released a statement, which you can read in its entirety by following the link below.
Related Article: Universal Pulls THE HUNT Following Mass Shootings
It was later reported that some of those involved in producing The Hunt were receiving death threats. At the same time, we learned that the film was negatively received at test-screenings (an additional factor that contributed to the film’s cancellation). Read more by following the link below.
Now, the film’s director, Craig Zobel, has finally weighed in on the controversy surrounding The Hunt. Here’s what he told Variety:
“If I believed this film could incite violence, I wouldn’t have made it… Our ambition was to poke at both sides of the aisle equally. We seek to entertain and unify, not enrage and divide. It is up to the viewers to decide what their takeaway will be.
“I wanted to make 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. This rush to judgment is one of the most relevant problems of our time.“
Zobel goes on to challenge reports that The Hunt was poorly received at test screenings:
“While some outlets have indicated that test screenings for The Hunt resulted in negative audience feedback; in fact, the film was very well-received and tallied one of the highest test scores for an original Blumhouse film. Additionally, no audience members in attendance at the test screening expressed discomfort with any political discussion in the film. While reports also say The Hunt was formerly titled Red State vs. Blue State, that was never the working title for the film at any point throughout the development process, nor appeared on any status reports under that name.”
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.
Zobel directed The Hunt from a screenplay penned by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof; the film stars Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, and Emma Roberts.
What do you think about Craig Zobel’s comments about The Hunt? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.