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Universal cancels plans to release The Hunt

Screenshot: YouTube

Earlier this week, we reported that Universal was pulling advertising materials for its upcoming Blumhouse picture The Hunt—in which a group of liberal-coded elites hunt a bunch of good-hearted “normal folk like us, just like your uncle’s Facebook posts always said they would—from all markets, over concerns that the movie’s violent tone (and obvious prodding of America’s weeping, suppurated political divide) might not be terribly sensitive in the wake of the recent wave of mass shootings. Now—not long after Donald Trump deigned to obliquely blast the film from the safety of his shit-flecked Twitter pulpit—THR is reporting that Universal is shelving the film for the foreseeable future. Here’s the studio’s statement:

While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for The Hunt, after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our plans to release the film. We stand by our filmmakers and will continue to distribute films in partnership with bold and visionary creators, like those associated with this satirical social thriller, but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film.


The Hunt was scheduled to be released on September 27, roughly seven weeks from now—a period of time so vast in our current reckoning of time that it’s actually kind of stomach-churning to consider how much more terrible, heart-breaking shit could happen between now and then. The film is directed by Craig Zobel, from a script by the uber-prolific Damon Lindelof and Nic Cuse, and stars Hilary Swank as the 1 percenter who gleefully declares her victims (including GLOW’s Betty Gilpin) subhuman before setting her rich cronies to hunt them for sport. In other words, a violence-heavy satirical fever dream of America’s ongoing racial, economic, and existential anxieties, which, thanks, but we already wake up to one of those every fucking day, okay?

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