Controversial Film ‘The Hunt,’ Featuring Sturgill Simpson, Gets Release Date
The story line depicts a group of wealthy liberal elites who track down and hunt conservative and less privileged human prey for sport, referring (according to Variety) to their "red state" targets as "deplorables" and the President (who is never named as Donald Trump) as "our ratf---er-in-chief."
Already dabbling in some hot-button political issues, the film received overwhelming criticism following the release of its trailer in July of 2019, and the planned September release date was canceled due to criticism of its subject matter in the wake of three mass shootings that summer, in Gilroy, Calif. (July 28), El Paso, Texas (Aug. 3) and Dayton, Ohio (Aug. 4.)
Now, producer Jason Blum and co-writer Damon Lindelof believe that the right time has come for audiences to finally see the film. The pair argue that The Hunt has been mis-characterized as a "dangerous" movie or one likely to incite violence, and that the mischaracterization comes from the simple fact that people reacted to the movie before they'd even seen it.
"It was the most-talked-about movie that no one has ever seen," Blum explains. "So both of us were very eager for people to see the movie and realize that the movie is 100 percent satire, and pokes fun at both sides equally. We wanted to see that represented in what people were writing about, but again, they couldn't, because no one had seen it."
"As more and more people start to see it, we've gained confidence in the fact that this is not a dangerous movie," Lindelof adds. "This is not a provocative movie. This is not a decisive movie. I think the big shift between now and then is that more people have seen it and they've responded positively."
Another big shift for The Hunt is a retooled trailer and movie poster, the latter of which is centered around the fallout that originally prevented the movie's release. "Decide for yourself," block letters on the poster read, along with the original release date crossed out and the new date of March 13 beside it.
The Hunt's cancellation notwithstanding, Simpson's fans still had plenty of opportunities to see his film work in 2019. He plays a rogue police officer in the romantic drama Queen & Slim, which came out on Nov. 27, and he also appears as a "guitar zombie" and provides the theme song for the theatrical release The Dead Don't Die. In 2018, Simpson played Ken Fry in five episodes of the CBS All Access drama One Dollar.
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