'The Hunt' Release Canceled By Universal In Response Recent Mass Shootings

One of the most anticipated movies of the fall, Universal and Blumhouse's thriller The Hunt, has been canceled in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Universal issued a statement confirming the news...

“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.”

This is hardly a shock. The Hunt, which was directed by Craig Zobel, co-written by Damon Lindelof,  and stars Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank, and more, was to be released on September 27th.  It follows a group of twelve strangers who awaken to find themselves prey in a lethal game devised by rich elites. A trailer for the film was recently released and shows a dark but sardonic sense of humor.

However, in recent days we've seen Trump and others in the Republican Party quickly form a narrative blaming video games, Hollywood, whatever they need in order to deflect attention away from guns. Some retail outlets such as Wal-Mart went so far as to pull any violent imagery from their shelves, even as sales on guns continued.  There's even a claim, completely unfounded by anything we've seen, that The Hunt is specifically targeting Trump supporters. So at this moment, we're seeing the impact of Trump's rhetoric on one of the biggest movie studios in the world. Universal went so far as to yank their official versions of the trailer. Fortunately, they exist elsewhere. For now.

The question is, what happens to The Hunt now? Will Universal allow Blumhouse to take the movie elsewhere? Because people really do want to see it, and I hope all of this nonsense causes it to be an even bigger hit. History hasn't been kind to movies in this kind of situation, though.