The Hunt producer admits he thought the controversial film might never be released

The thriller satire sees a group of left-wing “elites” hunt right-wingers but was “misunderstood” says Jason Blum

Betty Gilpin in The Hunt (Universal)

After months of controversy, thriller movie The Hunt is finally coming to cinemas, with director Craig Zobel’s satire on America’s political divide set to debut in UK cinemas on the 11th March, around six months after its intended 2019 release date.

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“I’m very happy that it’s finally coming out,” producer Jason Blum, whose company Blumhouse Productions made the movie, told RadioTimes.com.

“I love the movie, I think it’s gonna be a very culturally explosive movie, and I cannot wait for it to come out and people to start talking about it.”

Starring Betty Gilpin, Ike Barinholtz and Hilary Swank among others, the film’s early trailers depicted a group of wealthy American liberals capturing poorer people with right-wing values to hunt for sport, in a story loosely based on Richard Connell’s 1924 short story The Greatest Game.

But while the filmmakers insisted the film was intended as a satire, many right-wing figures (including US President Donald Trump) criticised the film for being anti-conservative. This, combined with the tragic real-life mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio in early August 2019 meant that the film’s marketing campaign and release was cancelled, a decision which Blum says was definitely the right one.

“We were all on the same page with that – the timing of the movie was not good,” he told us. “So we were all on the same page in terms of taking the movie off the schedule.”

However, Blum said that he was taken aback by the reaction from Trump and other conservative figures to the film, which he feels was “misunderstood” as an attack rather than the satire it was intended as.

“I was surprised by the political reaction to the movie,” he said. “But I think that we kind of positioned the movie slightly incorrectly.

“We did a new trailer this time [released recently on YouTube], and people better understand that it’s a satire, it pokes fun at both sides, it’s not taking a side. Which I think was kind of misunderstood the first time out.”

Now, Blum and his team are hopeful that audiences can enjoy the film at last – especially after dark moments when he genuinely thought the Hunt was lost forever.

“There were moments where I really wasn’t sure if it would ever see the light of day,” Blum told us. “And I’m very glad that it is.”

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Blumhouse Productions’ new release The Invisible Man is in UK cinemas from Friday 28th February