Universal cancels controversial ‘Hunt’ in wake of shootings

Entertainment

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Universal Pictures has canceled the planned September release of its controversial social satire “The Hunt,” in the wake of recent mass shootings and amid criticism from President Donald Trump.

The move came several days after the studio suspended the ad campaign for the film, a gory, R-rated thriller that tells a tale of liberal “elites” hunting people in red states for sport.

In a statement Saturday, Universal said it had decided to take the further step of canceling the film’s Sept. 27 release, saying “We understand that now is not the right time to release this film.”

Left open was the possibility that the movie could be released in theaters or on streaming at a later date.

Trump criticized the planned movie on Twitter Friday, without mentioning its name, saying it was intended “to inflame and cause chaos.”

The president also had harsh words for Hollywood in the tweet, saying “Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level.”

Asked if the decision to scrap the release had been impacted by Trump’s comments, a person familiar with the decision process, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations, said the cancellation had been under discussion by the studio and filmmaking team well before the comments were made.

The studio paused the ad campaign in the middle of last week in light of the tragic mass shootings in Texas, Ohio and California.

“The Hunt,” produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse, stars Oscar winner Hilary Swank and Betty Gilpin, and is directed by Craig Zobel.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Lyft driver who picked up St. Pete man's dog located, puppy still missing

Thumbnail for the video titled "Lyft driver who picked up St. Pete man's dog located, puppy still missing"

Storm Team 8 Forecast: Warm Friday ahead of a cold front set to cool weekend temps

Thumbnail for the video titled "Storm Team 8 Forecast: Warm Friday ahead of a cold front set to cool weekend temps"

After tragedy, mother spreads message to "move over" for emergency vehicles

Thumbnail for the video titled "After tragedy, mother spreads message to "move over" for emergency vehicles"

Mayors focusing on local issues, not impeachment during DC conference

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mayors focusing on local issues, not impeachment during DC conference"

Full interview: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor in Washington for conference

Thumbnail for the video titled "Full interview: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor in Washington for conference"

Spring Hill couple face losing electricity over $3,086 'damage' claim

Thumbnail for the video titled "Spring Hill couple face losing electricity over $3,086 'damage' claim"

Manatee County man arrested for pointing laser at pilots, deputies say

Thumbnail for the video titled "Manatee County man arrested for pointing laser at pilots, deputies say"

Children & teens should be educated on human trafficking

Thumbnail for the video titled "Children & teens should be educated on human trafficking"

Thailand Veterans contend they are the scientific evidence VA claims it needs to grant benefits

Thumbnail for the video titled "Thailand Veterans contend they are the scientific evidence VA claims it needs to grant benefits"

Hundreds remember 5 women gunned down in bank a year after massacre

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hundreds remember 5 women gunned down in bank a year after massacre"

Sebring SunTrust Bank Reflection Park Dedication

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sebring SunTrust Bank Reflection Park Dedication"

Seminole man faces video voyeurism and child pornography charges

Thumbnail for the video titled "Seminole man faces video voyeurism and child pornography charges"
More Local News

Latest Videos

More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss