Universal Pictures has cancelled the release of Craig Zobel’s new thriller “The Hunt,” pulling it from its proposed September 27th release date.
Jason Blum and Damon Lindelof produced the film which follows twelve strangers who mysteriously wake up in a forest clearing only to discover that they are being hunted for sport by a group of rich elites. Betty Gilpin, Ike Barinholtz, Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, Ethan Suplee and Justin Hartley star
The scraping of the film’s release comes just two days after the studio hit pause on its marketing campaign in the wake of three recent mass shootings in Ohio, Texas and California.
It also comes a day after conservative news outlets, spearheaded by Fox News, campaigned against the film for indulging in “sick murder fantasies about right-wingers”. The outcry came despite the film obviously being an adaptation of the nearly century-old story “The Most Dangerous Game” which has been adapted to screen numerous times before.
A spokesperson for Universal said they came to the decision alongside the filmmakers and released the following statement:
“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.”
While the studio indicates the project’s release is on indefinite hold, it’s not clear if they will pass the film onto another distributor or streaming service.