As we all bask in the warming glow of last weekend’s Oscars, the art of filmmaking might seem deceptively easy. All you have to do is hire attractive people to read from a relatively original script, then start raking in critical and commercial success. But two of Hollywood’s most troubled productions of late are testament to the fact that it’s just not that easy.
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Both Chaos Walking, a gritty YA adaptation, and The Hunt, a satirical thriller, were meant to be released into cinemas ages ago. The former was shot three years ago and the latter was supposed to screen in September of 2019. For various reasons, both movies were stalled and even rumoured to have been completely shut out of a release. But as of February 12, news of both films getting another chance at life has serendipitously sprung up.
Chaos Walking would seem to have a lot going for it: including Edge Of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, huge action stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, and disturbing source material about a savage world populated entirely by men (and Daisy Ridley, I guess). Reportedly, the film tested horribly with preview audiences, and an extensive schedule of reshoots couldn’t take place until April 2019, since Ridley was so busy filming and promoting Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Meanwhile, The Hunt was canned for political reasons. This provocative, edgy thriller follows a group of strangers being hunted in an elaborate game of catch and kill. Produced by Blumhouse and Damon Lindelof, the movie’s release was halted due to poor timing, namely the fact that in 2019 there were more mass shootings in the US than there were days in the year (417, to be exact). Not a great time to release your sassy gun-centric thriller.
A new trailer (above) and sly poster for the film are here to troll us once again, promising a March 13 release date in the US. Meanwhile Lionsgate has committed to a January 22, 2021 release for Chaos Walking now that the drastic reshoots have been completed. But don’t hold me responsible for those dates – at this point, anything could happen. Maybe both films will come out and be terrific! Maybe they’ll never come out and just become Hollywood phantoms. Either option would be kinda cool, honestly.