Sturgill Simpson was all set for a career breakthrough in the fall of 2019. He had a rockin' new album called "Sound & Fury," an anime film based on the album's songs and a much buzzed-about action movie called "The Hunt."
Unfortunately, Universal Pictures canceled Simpson's movie after a massive media outcry about gun violence, and that was supposed to be that.
It's five months later and things have cooled down. The movie has been rescheduled for a March 13th release in theaters and Universal has made a new trailer that embraces the controversy.
The satirical movie aimed to investigate whether a cabal of "liberal elites" was secretly holding annual hunts where they rounded up a group of "deplorables" and used them as prey. Betty Gilpin ("Glow") starts as a Real American who's up against an oily 1 percenter played by Hillary Swank.
A series of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio allowed a few media elites to claim the (unseen) movie promoted gun violence. In reality, the plot of "The Hunt" sounds like it's based on dozens of drive-in movies that played without incident during the entire decade of the '70s or hundreds of straight-to-video VHS titles available at your local Blockbuster in the '80s.
Is "The Hunt" any good? Who knows? It was written by the guys who made the "Watchmen" TV series for HBO, and lots of people liked that a lot. It's produced by Jason Blum, a guy who's mastered both prestige and bottom-of-the-barrel horror movies over the past decade. A Blumhouse picture is rarely boring.
For now, "The Hunt" is "The Movie They Didn't Want You to See." Next month, it'll finally have to stand or fall on its own merits.