“Ultimately it was about making the right decision, right now.”
Though he didn’t explicitly name the film, President Trump’s “racist” Hollywood remarks to both the press and the public (via brief thumb storm,) may have forced Universal’s hand in canceling The Hunt.
Yesterday, the studio announced that it had shelved the brutal satire, citing the not-so-recent resurgence of the nation’s gun control debate, as just last week more than 30 people died in a chain of mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal halted the movie’s promotion even before Trump’s charges against the film industry, taking the hint after ESPN pulled an ad spot for the film that it had previously cleared.
Per a synopsis, The Hunt followed a group of “deplorables” — a term associated with Trump supporters — who wake up in a field only to learn they’re being hunted for sport by liberal elites. It starred Hillary Swank, Betty Gilpin, and Emma Roberts, with direction from Craig Zobel. In a statement via THR, a studio rep noted that despite the cancellation, “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.”
You can watch the trailer for The Hunt below.