'The Hunt' Director Craig Zobel Addresses Movie's Controversial Cancelation

Stop punishing movies for the actions of idiots.


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A maddening example of yet another superdumb thing that apparently just happens now, wherein a purported POTUS criticizes art and the release of said art is subsequently punished, got an expected (but no less welcomed) update Monday in the form of a response from one of the affected artists.

Speaking with Variety for an exclusive piece published Monday, Craig Zobel—director of The Hunt—looked ahead to hopefully getting his satirical film in front of audiences despite Universal's recent move of calling off its planned theatrical release amid criticism from conservative snowflakes or whatever they're called.

"We seek to entertain and unify, not enrage and divide," he said. "It is up to the viewers to decide what their takeaway will be."

Zobel explained that he would never make a film with the intention of inciting violence, which of course is something artists shouldn't even have to explain, and noted that the movie—which was notably not actually even viewed by its detractors—actually points a satirical finger at both sides of the political spectrum.

With The Hunt, which centers on a group of strangers who are being hunted for sport, Zobel was aiming for a "fun, action thriller" that made cinematic fun of our current culture of extremes. Referring to political sides as "teams," Zobel said the collective tendency toward a "rush to judgment" was among “the most relevant problems” of this era.

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While Zobel is down with the movie being delayed in the wake of recent mass shootings, he's not down with permanently canning the movie amid conservative cacophony.

"My hope would be that people will reflect on why we are in this moment, where we don't have any desire to listen to each other," he toldVariety.

The Hunt was previously set for a Sept. 27 release, with Universal announcing its cancelation (which was preceded by a paused marketing campaign) and said "now is not the right time to release this film."

Filmmaker Seth Rogen, who certainly knows a thing or two about idiocy-inspired movie cancelations, later shared his apt assessment of all this The Hunt talk. "It sucks when an evil world leader gets your movie canceled," he said.

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