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The Underrated Action Film That's Taking Over Quibi

How far would you go if you were desperate for money and had nothing left to lose? That's the question posed in Quibi's serialized action film, Most Dangerous Game. After finding out he has terminal brain cancer, Dodge Tynes (Liam Hemsworth) needs money to treat his illness and make sure his family is financially secure. This leads him to meet with sinister businessman Miles Sellars (Christoph Waltz), who has a proposition for him: Dodge will be paid an exorbitant amount of money if he allows himself to be hunted by Sellars' associates.

This premise sets off an exhilarating race across Detroit, as Dodge attempts to best Sellars' hunters at their own deadly game. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, it has still garnered lots of attention for the young streaming service, quickly climbing the list of Quibi's top trending titles.

If you're enticed by the premise, we've got some more details that should get you even more excited to check out Most Dangerous Game on Quibi.

Most Dangerous Game is based on an iconic short story

If the title Most Dangerous Game sounds familiar, that's because the film is loosely based on a famous short story from the early 20th century. "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell was published in 1924 and tells the story of a big-game hunter named Sanger Rainsford who ends up on a remote island in the Caribbean after falling off a yacht. Once on the island, Rainsford meets a fellow big-game hunter, a Russian general named Zaroff. Zaroff reveals to Rainsford that he's become bored with hunting animals, and now uses the island to hunt what he considers to be the most dangerous game: humans. Rainsford then turns from hunter to prey as he's pursued across the island by the general and his hounds.

The story has been adapted for the screen multiple times since its original publication, beginning with a 1932 feature film. Many future adaptations used the basic premise, but changed the setting and characters considerably. The 1987 film Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity sets the action on a planet of bikini-clad alien women, while the Jean-Claude van Damme-starring Hard Target has wealthy businessmen in New Orleans hunting homeless veterans.

Given the provocative nature of the story, it's no wonder the premise has been used again and again. For Most Dangerous Game, Quibi sought to not only bring the story into the 21st century, but also use the platform's unique format to enhance the action.

The film didn't start out as a Quibi original

Although this particular adaptation of "The Most Dangerous Game" is making use of Quibi's ten-minute episodic format, it didn't begin that way. Writer Nick Santora spoke to CNET about the process of bringing the story to life, revealing that the project began around a decade before its premiere as a feature film script by the screenwriting team of Josh Harmon and Scott Elder. Santora said of his involvement, "[M]aybe seven or eight years ago some producers brought the script to me to take a rewrite pass at it... I did my pass on the feature script, but like the vast majority of movies, it never got made."

Obviously, the story doesn't end there. Before Quibi, Santora nearly turned the script into a TV series for NBC. Apparently, the network was interested, but the project ultimately fell through. After that, Quibi expressed interest in Santora's pilot script.

Santora also revealed in his interview that turning a script for a regular pilot or film into a Quibi original isn't as easy as chopping it up into smaller chunks. "What you have to do is treat each one of these chapters, these minibites, as a separate episode with a beginning, middle and end," he said, explaining that "each of these chapters has to take you on a ride with an arc, and it has to end with a twist or a turn or a cliffhanger or reveal — something that makes the audience say, I want to watch the next one."

Christoph Waltz was initially apprehensive about staring in Most Dangerous Game

No disrespect to Liam Hemsworth, but one of the biggest draws for Most Dangerous Game is two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz. The Austrian-German actor is known for his wonderfully chilling villainous roles, and as Miles Sellars, the organizer of the hunt, he brings all his evil charms to the fore. Even though the role seems tailor-made for Waltz, the actor was skeptical about joining the project at first.

Speaking to Collider, Waltz cited the Quibi format as the trigger for his raised eyebrow. He explained, "[W]hen I heard a new streaming platform that only does up to 10-minute chunks and that's it, I thought, 'Come on, really? Is that all you can entrust an audience with anymore? The attention span has dwindled to that?'"

However, Waltz admitted that he was being "a skeptical snob," and decided to read the script, regardless of his concerns. He said in reading the script, he had a realization about the format: "This is unique and a thing in its own right. It is a new form of television... This is not serialized television in smaller chunks. This is a new form of television. And that I found exciting."

Given the interest in the film, it looks like Quibi viewers agree, and that there is a market for a unique approach to a classic story.