The Hunt is a 2019 action horror thriller feature film about a sinister social media game that involves humans as the prey.
Directed by Craig Zobel (Z for Zachariah; Compliance) from a screenplay written by Nick Cuse (The Leftovers series) and Damon Lindelof (World War Z; Prometheus; Cowboys & Aliens), the Blumhouse Productions-White Rabbit movie stars Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank and Ethan Suplee.
Universal Pictures cancelled the September release of The Hunt, saying that: “now is not the right time to release this film” in the wake of deadly attacks in California, Texas and Ohio.
Donald Trump and conservative commentators were highly critical of the movie’s satirical content. Without referring to The Hunt by name, Trump tweeted about a “movie” that had been “made in order to inflame and cause chaos”.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that a character at one point calls the people being hunted “deplorables”. In 2016, Hillary Clinton said half the supporters of her Republican rival belonged in a “basket of deplorables” – people who were racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic or Islamophobic.
Quizzed if Trump’s comments had a role in the decision to halt the movie’s release, an insider said the studio and filmmaking team were discussing the cancellation well before he made his remarks. In fact, Universal had already the ad campaign for The Hunt in the middle of last week in light of the latest spate of US mass shootings.
A statement from Universal, which is owned by Comcast, said: “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.”
The movie may still be released in theatres or on streaming services at a later date.
If I was offered the choice to make the movie again, I would say yes,” Jason Blum told Vulture. “We definitely made marketing mistakes, and we made plenty of mistakes along the way. So I’ve learned a lot. It might change how I would position movies and how I would consult on the marketing of the movies. But actually the making of the movies? No.” Asked if there is a chance the film will see a future release, Blum answered, “Definitely a chance. I hope so.”
Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are, or how they got there. They don’t know they’ve been chosen… for a very specific purpose … The Hunt.
In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, a group of elites gathers for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt humans for sport.
However, the elites’ master plan is about to be derailed because one of the hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin), knows The Hunters’ game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off, one by one, as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman (Hilary Swank) at the centre of it all…
The Hunt was due to be released by Universal Pictures on September 27, 2019.
Cast and characters:
- Betty Gilpin
- Emma Roberts
- Hilary Swank
- Ethan Suplee … Gary
- Justin Hartley
- Glenn Howerton
- Ike Barinholtz
- Amy Madigan
- Macon Blair … Envoy
- Teri Wyble … Liberty
- Wayne Duvall … Don
- Alexander Babara … Bojan
- Steve Coulter … Doctor Ted
- Reed Birney … Pop
- J.C. MacKenzie … Paul
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