The producer Jason Blum, recycling his own The Purge films, in which ultra-white country-club jerks backed by Tea-party-type evangelicals go on killing sprees to hunt down struggling Americans and people of color, has given the formula a little tweak. In his new film, originally entitled “Red State vs. Blue State,” the rich hunters are private-jet-loving Davos globalists who hate the president and are out to kill “deplorables.” The title proved a bit too interesting, so it was toned down to The Hunt. TV spots and trailers showed roaming gangs of posh urban TED-talk goers heading out on safari to shoot members of Trump-voting blocs. “The idea seemed crazy,” one panicky Hollywood exec told The Hollywood Reporter. Oh? Tell us more.
THR, whose reporter read the script for The Hunt, writes,
The blue-state characters — some equally adept with firearms — explain that they picked their targets because they expressed anti-choice positions or used the N-word on Twitter. “War is war,” says one character after shoving a stiletto heel through the eye of a denim-clad hillbilly.
The globalists in the movie say things like “Did anyone see what our ratf***er-in-chief just did?” To which another replies, “At least the Hunt’s coming up. Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables.”
For once, a genre movie was built around an anti-progressive premise. The Hunt, which was due for release on September 27, at least sounded contrarian. But our film-critic-in-chief got it cancelled. President Trump doesn’t have the most finely tuned irony gauge; he seemed unable to understand that the globalists in the film are plainly the bad guys and that the trailer was satirizing rather than saluting the hunters it portrays. We weren’t meant to see events from their point of view, but were to put ourselves in Deplorable shoes. For once, a major Hollywood film studio was about to release a movie sympathetic to Trump voters.
Yet after Fox News and Trump egged each other into a frenzy about the film, Trump went on Twitter to blast The Hunt (without mentioning its title), saying, “The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!”
I was on Dana Perino’s show to explain the erroneous thinking on Friday, but on Saturday Universal announced it was “cancelling” the film’s release. In the fine print, it became evident that the studio hasn’t figured out what to do yet, so it may just delay the film a bit. It didn’t announce that it intended to sell the film, and it didn’t say The Hunt would never see the light of day. “We stand by our filmmakers . . . but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film,” the Comcast-owned studio said in a statement (emphasis added).
I want to see this film, and so should you. Let’s be smart enough to recognize an opportunity for what it is. The Right ought to make it clear that we are not only not offended by the premise of The Hunt, we’re delighted. Make a little noise. Universal, release The Hunt!