News & Politics

Thank Goodness Universal Pictures Dropped 'The Hunt'

Thank Goodness Universal Pictures Dropped 'The Hunt'
'The Hunt' from Universal Pictures (Screenshot via YouTube)

Recently you may have heard about an upcoming film from Universal Pictures called The Hunt. You may have seen the trailer:

When I first saw this trailer, I assumed the woman shown at the beginning, played by Betty Gilpin, was the protagonist. When she said, “I ain’t most people,” and then proceeded to whup ass on all the arrogant elitist creeps who kidnapped her and hunted her for sport — a cinematic premise that’s been around since The Most Dangerous Game was released in 1932 — I assumed that “the deplorables” were being depicted as the good guys. After all, this is clearly a revenge movie, so the protagonist needs somebody really bad to take revenge on. This type of flick needs evil villains for the audience to boo. The elites are the villains, obviously. They must do bad things in order to make us hate them, so that the hero’s triumph is all the more satisfying. Obviously.

Or, perhaps, not so obviously.


Well, now that the president of the United States has spoken, Universal is doing the right thing. Nate Nickolai, Variety:

Universal Pictures has canceled the release of its upcoming thriller “The Hunt.” The film was previously set to hit theaters Sept. 27.

“While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for The Hunt, after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our plans to release the film, ” a spokesperson for Universal said in a statement. “We stand by our filmmakers and will continue to distribute films in partnership with bold and visionary creators, like those associated with this satirical social thriller, but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film.”

This makes sense. After all, movies make people do bad things. Guns don’t kill people, movies kill people.

And even if this movie didn’t emit some sort of mind-control rays to make coastal elites start killing people in MAGA hats on command, this isn’t the right time to release a movie like this. It might hurt somebody’s feelings. And feelings are important. (If you don’t believe me, just scroll down and read the comments.)

It was good that HBO decided not to make that Confederate TV show, depicting a modern-day America in which the South had won the Civil War and slavery was still legal, after a huge social-media backlash from people who hadn’t seen the show because it didn’t even exist yet. It was good that so many people prejudged it, sight unseen. And now it’s good that people are prejudging The Hunt.

I was looking forward to seeing this movie because I’m a fan of Betty Gilpin, after seeing her incredible performances on shows like American Gods and GLOW. She’s a star. She’s got great comedic timing, and then she can stop on a dime and nail a dramatic moment. It’s like somebody put Woody Allen’s brain in the body of Marilyn Monroe. I was looking forward to seeing Gilpin as an action heroine in a major motion picture. I really wanted to watch her portray a Trump voter who’s smarter and tougher than the people who scorn and underestimate her.

But now I’m glad that I don’t get to see this movie until it’s inevitably dumped on Netflix or Hulu. Why should I get to enjoy a film that uses current events to tell an exciting story? Why should I expect to be entertained, when it might offend somebody who hasn’t seen it and never will? Why should anybody expect that?

This is America!

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