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The Hunt Release Canceled by Universal Pictures

12 August 2019

Universal Pictures has canceled its plan to release "The Hunt", a satirical thriller about "elites" hunting self-described "normal people", amid a series of mass shootings and criticism that the film could further increase tensions.

Following a series of mass shootings across the country - most notably, the Dayton, Ohio; Gilroy, California; and El Paso, Texas incidents - Universal Pictures has chose to pull the plug on The Hunt, which was set to release next month on September 27th.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke with a studio source for their report, who added that "This was a decision that the studio came to with The Hunt filmmaking team, but ultimately it was about making the right decision, right now".

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US President Donald Trump appeared to tweet about the film when he said "the movie (that) is coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos".

While not naming the film directly, the president tweeted on Friday: "They like to call themselves 'Elite, ' but they are not Elite".

Craig Zobel directed the movie, which was set to open on September 27.

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Several outlets have reported the film depicted opposite ends of the political spectrum facing off, but could not confirm with Universal Pictures.

Hilary Swank, who stars in The Hunt as the woman behind the lethal game, has released a statement in which she backs the call that Universal made. He went on to claim that the goal of the unnamed movie was "to inflame and cause chaos".

I will go out on a limb and guess that Universal executives shelved the movie because of Trump's suggestion that film violence contributes to real violence, for which Hollywood liberals "then try to blame others". The ideological divisions in the USA are a big source of strife these days, but releasing a movie like The Hunt just a month after the summer's spate of grisly shootings would've been tone-deaf. But as the trailers to the film make clear, the people being hunted are the protagonists of the film.

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Well, I guess that old saying about how no publicity is bad publicity isn't true. Maria Bartiromo, one of Trump's favorite hosts, wondered on her Fox Business show, if it was going to "encourage more backlash against conservatives".

The Hunt Release Canceled by Universal Pictures