In Blumhouse's The Hunt, twelve strangers are abducted and hunted for sport by what various synopses are calling "rich, liberal elites" in the forest surrounding a remote Manor House. Universal Pictures was set to release the film in theaters on September 27th, but in the wake of the recent mass shootings and heightened political turmoil, they have made the "collective decision" to cancel their plans to release the film.
Deadline reports that the decision was made by Universal leadership, led by Donna Langley, with The Hunt filmmaking team.
The site notes, "the news of Universal canceling The Hunt comes after putting the brakes on the pic’s marketing campaign in the wake of the El Paso, TX; Dayton, OH; and Gilroy, CA mass shootings."
The studio released the following statement this morning:
"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 theatrical release plans have been cancelled, the site does note that it could come back at a later date for a theatrical release, or it could go to streaming once Comcast launches that service.
The Hunt follows twelve red-state strangers who wake up in a clearing and realize that they’re being hunted by liberal elites. Betty Gilpin and double Oscar winner Hilary Swank play women on opposite sides of the political spectrum, conservative and liberal, who are targeting each other. Craig Zobel directed the movie, which was written by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof.