The most talked-about movie of the month is one that hasn’t been released.
And maybe never will.
Last week, The Hunt — a satirical thriller about rich people (“elites”) hunting common folk (“deplorables”) — was pulled off the schedule by Universal Pictures. “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,” a Universal spokesperson said in a 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.”
The announcement of The Hunt being buried was made after the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and Donald Trump calling it “racist,” but Universal was wary about releasing the film before then. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Sources say multiple Universal executives had reservations about the project when leaders Jeff Shell and Donna Langley bought it in May 2018.” Even after the marketing was pulled, studio executives and the filmmakers, possibly including director Craig Zobel, producer Jason Blum, and co-writers Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof, “began receiving death threats via email and on social media and immediately paused the campaign.”
Sources say the studio’s internal security force became involved, but outside law enforcement was not alerted. It appears that Universal did not foresee the maelstrom to come, including round-the-clock Fox News segments and tweets by Trump seemingly directed at the title. (Via)
The Hunt may never see the light of day in the United States (we don’t deserve Betty Gilpin), but it may still get released in foreign markets.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)