Directed by New Zealand-born Taika Waititi, Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) tells the story of a young man named Ricky Baker, who gets sent to live with a couple named Hector and Bella Faulkner after exhausting nearly every other option for a home in the foster system. Ricky, who is naturally rambunctious and loud, initially doesn’t care for Hector and Bella’s home but grows to connect with both of them, especially Bella. When Bella dies, however, Ricky runs into the woods to escape getting pushed back into the foster care system. He is pursued by Hector, and after a series of misunderstandings, they find themselves both wanted by the law.
When it was released, Hunt for the Wilderpeople received exceedingly positive reviews and was a major success at the box office. Kate Muir of the Times (UK), loved the film, writing that “Hunt for the Wilderpeople has been a huge audience favourite at festivals this year and you can see why, with its brand of dark New Zealand humour, coupled with a boy's own adventure story that goes not merely off the rails, but off-road and off-grid.” Against a budget of merely $2.5 million, the film made $23.2 million at the box office.