Universal's satirical thriller, The Hunt, had the makings of a hit, but the studio has opted to shelve the project just a month out from its scheduled release.
Steered by Jason Blum, the producer of Get Out and The Purge series, and Damon Lindelof, co-creator of The Leftovers and Lost, it looked to be one of the more exciting films of the summer. This summer has, however, been marked by mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. In the wake of these acts of violence, critics urged the studio to pull its human purge feature. One of the most vocal critics of the film was President Trump. Given the timing of his tweet, followers were apparently confused as to whether he was implicating The Hunt or the new Cats remake in the current “culture wars.”
Universal Pictures initially paused the marketing campaign for the film. A spokesperson for the studio later issued the following statement, “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.”