Universal Pictures Should Not Cancel “The Hunt”


D.A. Kirk

Outer space enthusiast. Japanese history junkie. I write about politics, culture, and mental illness. Disagreement is a precursor to progress.

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39 Responses

  1. Avatar InMD says:

    I’m sure it will be out sooner or later. Kind of sucks though, they had a relatively A list cast for one of these Blumhouse catastrophes. I was curious to see how Glenn Howerton came off in it.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    The movie will be out sooner or later probably. I suspect that it is also partially being pulled or delayed because Universal thinks it has a bomb on its hands. However, I think the whole thing is an example of the Stupidest Timeline. The movie sounds very right-wing to me. The original title was Red State, Blue State, it apparently gets described as satire but sounds like it fails. The whole movie is “liberal elites” (including minorities) hunting MAGA types for sport. How did Trump and his lackeys confuse this for anti-right wing bias. Don’t they know audiences are supposed to sympathize with the hunted in the Most Dangerous Game/Purge type scenarios.Report

    • Avatar D.A. Kirk says:

      I”m sure he didn’t even bother looking up the plot of the film and was just going off of what he heard on FOX. They ran a segment trashing the film shortly before he logged onto Twitter and started tweeting about it. So basically, FOX played themselves and Trump at the same time. And they may have inadvertently turned the movie into a much bigger hit than it otherwise would have been *if* it gets released sometime in the near future.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      The movie sounds rather ghastly. Why don’t we just re-release the Most Dangerous Game but have the villain and hero be badass women instead if we want to make it more modern.Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    “They don’t make films like they used to!!!”
    Here is a “most dangerous game” flick.The hunters are always the bad guys.
    “No. No. Not like that.”

    I’ve never liked the MDG sub genre at all and in this age it seems like a drastic miscalculation. I wonder how the studio peeps thought it would play oversees. That is where a lot of flicks make serious bank. Did they figure the Chinese or others would flock to it???? I wonder.Report

  4. Avatar North says:

    I remain in jaw gaping awe that any studio exec thought this idiocy would make them any money. What the fishing hell? As Greg noted above you get a lot of money overseas and why the hell would the overseas market give a fish about this premise?
    Some Coke Encrusted Hollywood Exec was encrusted with some especially bad Coke when he green lit this nonsense.Report

    • Avatar InMD says:

      I think genre movies have slightly different economics. They’re usually cheaper to make and rely on word getting out among dedicated fans. Pretty sure they operate with the understanding that casual film goers will have no interest. Then they license it out to various streaming services so drunk people and teenagers will watch it at 3AM. The theatrical runs if they even have them are really short.

      The concept really isn’t that provocative for these types of movies. Back to the original name, theres a movie that got some love on the Netflix horror section 6 or 7 years ago called Red State. The premise is was a bunch of typical suburbanites trying to escape an ultra right wing Branch Davidian type cult.Report

      • Avatar InMD says:

        According to Wikipedia it’s an $18.2 million budget so well below average for a feature film. That puts it right by Bird Box ($19 mil) which did not have a theatrical release at all.Report

  5. Avatar greginak says:

    I, for one, have fond memories of Coke Encrusted Hollywood types.

    My best guess is someone heard the line “there is no such thing as bad publicity” a few to many times.Report

    • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

      Doesn’t it always?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Whose the asshole? The filmmakers?Report

    • Avatar D.A. Kirk says:

      Under other circumstances, that cartoon would probably resonate with me (I’ve seen it before). Just not in this case. The President of the United States using his influence in this manner is too Orwellian for me to look past it. Yes, technically, no one’s first amendment rights were violated, but free speech is much more than just a constitutional amendment, IMHO.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Eh, not any more.

        Did you see what happened to comedienne Sarah Silverman?

        Pretty funny!Report

        • Avatar D.A. Kirk says:

          Hmmm. I have to respectfully disagree. I’ve always put free speech in the “bedrock principles of Western society” category.

          I actually just saw the Silverman story on Twitter about an hour ago. Pretty ironic considering her politics, but definitely not surprising.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          A film team fires an actress because of concerns about something she did once upon a team.

          A studio cancels a film based on the President mobilizing outrage about it.

          Apples and apples, all the way down.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Cancelling X to cancelling Y is worth seeing as a trend because of the “cancelling” part. Not the X or Y parts.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              Eating a carrot and eating a baby are worth comparing because of the eating part.

              X and Y matter. A lot.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Was X offensive?
                Was Y offensive?

                If the answer to both is “yes”, then we’re in a situation where two things got cancelled (or, more accurately, reassigned… people will still see the movie, someone (else) will play the role Silverman was going to play) because of the content of the movie and/or the content of Sarah Silverman’s blackface routine.

                People got offended.
                Stuff got dropped.
                I don’t see why this is controversial at all.

                Are you saying that it’s *NOT* a trend?

                (Or, wait, you’re saying that they don’t have anything to do with each other?)Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                We don’t even know if Y was offensive because no one has seen Y yet.

                But you have overreduced the problem.

                One scenario:
                Film makers, of their own accord, opt to fire an actress from a role because they become aware of a potentially offensive/offensive to them image from her past.

                Other scenario:
                Film makers, under pressure from the President of the United States, reluctantly opt to cancel the release of a movie because an unverified article claimed the movie represented something potentially offensive.

                Those. Are. Not. The. Same. Thing. It is a false equivalency and by trotting it out, you are pretty aggressively BDSI.

                Find me a single tweet calling on the makers of the Silverman film to fire her. One.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                We don’t even know if Y was offensive because no one has seen Y yet.

                It’s rated “R”. I’m pretty sure that that means it’s offensive. “Gory” seems to be what many of the early reviews say about it.

                Find me a single tweet calling on the makers of the Silverman film to fire her. One.

                Also, when I say “hey, it seems a trend is starting up”, arguing that I’m saying “BSDI” when I’m providing multiple examples of it happening is not, in fact, an argument against the trend existing.

                I’m not saying “it’s good that Sarah Silverman got fired but it’s bad that the movie will get a smaller release”.

                I’m saying “this is happening more and more”. Pointing out that my examples exist, isn’t a counter-argument.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Nice goalpost shift. No one claims the gore was the reason to oppose it.

                Nice goalpost shift. That person wants her fired for that Tweet, not what she was fired for.

                A trend is only a trend when enough specifics match. They don’t here.

                You’ve made clear you haven’t changed a bit since before I left and have no interest in sincere dialogue. You have axes to grind and make hay doing so subtly and creatively. Find another stone to grind on. I won’t engage with you further.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                No one claims the gore was the reason to oppose it.

                You said that we don’t even know if it’s offensive yet.

                Do we know if it’s appropriate for viewers under the age of 17 without parental guardian?

                That person wants her fired for that Tweet, not what she was fired for.

                I guess I got lazy and just tried to find something vaguely relevant under the #firesarahsilverman hashtag.

                A trend is only a trend when enough specifics match. They don’t here.

                We’ll see. Do you think we’ll have more cancellations in the future, fewer, or the same number?

                I think we’ll have more.

                Because we’re in a trend.

                You’ve made clear you haven’t changed a bit since before I left and have no interest in sincere dialogue.

                …was I supposed to change?

                You have axes to grind and make hay doing so subtly and creatively.

                Golly! Thanks!

                Find another stone to grind on. I won’t engage with you further.

                Don’t see yourself as a stone, Kazzy. Iron sharpens iron.Report

  6. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Seems worthwhile to consider what we do and do not know about the film: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/liberals-hunt-conservatives-film/

    This isn’t, “The film was offensive but should the President have weighed in?”
    This isn’t, “The film was probably not offensive but misinterpreted as such… should the President have weighed in?”
    This is, “No one has seen the film and one source made unverified claims which the conservative media ran with and the President weighed in on based on that.”Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      To be honest, this would have been a great opportunity for Universal. You can’t buy advertising like that.


      They’d have recouped the cost for making the movie on opening night in coastal cities alone.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        But the fact remains we see yet more evidence of our President being manipulated by shadowy online forces who know just how to pull the right levers.

        This should worry no one, of course. We should focus on lamenting the poor business decision Universal made in light of this information.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          our President being manipulated by shadowy online forces

          Of all of the places to see a conspiracy theory, you see one *HERE*?Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            Did you read the Snopes article? A single online source claims to have read the script, though offers no substantiation of this, and offers “details” of its contents. That gets repeated on Fox. Then repeated by the President. It is a pretty clear line from A to B to C with no compelling counter narrative (e.g., Trump DID see the movie on PresFlix).Report

      • Avatar InMD says:

        FWIW Blumhouse seems not to care and their comments have been limited to understanding the decision not to release this right after the shooting in El Paso. Given Jason Blum’s past comments my suspicion is he would love nothing more than to take that approach.

        Of course he also has to respect the hand that feeds him. Again, per Wikipedia, Blumhouse produces movies at small budgets and sells them to big studios for distribution. For the big studios its low risk high reward. Worst case its a little cash flow from streaming or genre fans. Best case you get a Paranormal Activity or Sinister or the Purge that actually does really well and cost nothing.

        All that aside, at some point my hope is that producers, and more importantly distributors, of controversial art just stop caring. Same on the Sarah Silverman thing above. The Extremely Online aren’t nearly as powerful as people think they are. No one remembers some sketch a C list comedienne did on her forgotten, failed show and no one inclined to watch whatever she was in is going to change their minds over it.

        Sometimes I think the best thing that could happen for society would be the normies putting everyone back in their (figurative) place. Not with any kind of coercion or anything, but just a firm reminder that all the tweets, brigades, blog posts, whatever, do not matter.Report

  7. Avatar JoeSal says:

    What….it’s a fully automatic assault movie with a $18.2m magazine, and bump props, of course it should be banned.

    (Contrary to what the wimmin at the View may think of the first amendment, the answer is always more freedom ((no not that other freedom either)))

    (anyone notice what the budget for Bushwick was?, funny that)Report

  8. Avatar George Turner says:

    Mentally unstable people could have used the film as a pretext to attack some elites and celebrities, ala Taxi Driver, or a bunch of students (The Columbine killers said they were “going NBK”, a reference to Natural Born Killers). Then folks on right would make all kinds of cute memes saying “Aha! Maybe you shouldn’t have released that horrible death porn flick about a cultural civil war!”

    I suspect the cancellation isn’t because of what Trump said, but because it woke the studio up to the realization that in the aftermath of any inspired politicized attack that gets 24/7 cable coverage, the film’s release would hand a big talking point to all the conservative pundits and Congressional blowhards.Report

  9. Avatar InMD says:

    For anyone who cares looks like the Hunt will be released in theaters this weekend. Too bad it will never be able to live up to the hype.