Universal Wants Us To Believe They Were Always Planning To Cancel 'The Hunt'

It never really mattered when The Hunt would've been released, its premise was always going to cause a stir. The film, which boasts the talents of co-writer Damon Lindelof, director Craig Zobel, and stars Emma Roberts, Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, and more, centered on a group of strangers, regular people, who are hunted for sport by rich elites. That they appear to be conservatives, or "deplorables", targeted by liberals guaranteed an uproar, and Universal pulled marketing in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. The studio's decision to cancel the film caused a backlash since it came after fiery rhetoric from GOP talking heads and Trump himself.  

However, sources speaking with IndieWire claim that Universal had made the decision to cancel The Hunt before Trump started stirring the pot. *cough*bullshit*cough*

Following the shootings, Universal felt it wasn't the right time to be promoting a film where shooting large amounts of people was central to the plot and a key part of marketing. They were on the verge of shelving it for the time being, but before the decision could be made, Trump and his followers started politizing the issue, singling out The Hunt as proof of Hollywood's bias towards conservatives and responsibility for gun violence.  All appearances to the contrary, Universal wasn't bowing down to political pressure. They were just trying to do the right thing.

Yeah, okay. If it isn't obvious, I don't believe this for a second. Universal is setting an ugly precedent here. If studios start canceling movies because of a bunch of angry Internet trolls, and let's be real, the President is the ultimate Internet troll, then what's to stop them from faking outrage at every movie they don't like? Universal doesn't want the reputation of being weak, so they leak this story to try and change the narrative.

If Universal was really trying to do what's right, they would let Blumhouse take the movie elsewhere or release it digitally. Because Blumhouse keeps their budgets tight, they might actually be able to break even or make some money through a home release. I would definitely pay for it and probably many others would, too, as a show of support and a blow against this attempted silence.