Universal and Blumhouse Cancel The Hunt in the Wake of U.S. Mass Shootings


Following a week of mourning and heated debate in the U.S. over recent mass shootings that took place in Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX, some have been quick to place the blame on gun violence in media and entertainment as usual. Now that mounting pressure has caused Universal and Blumhouse to rethink their upcoming release of Craig Zobel, Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof’s thriller The Hunt. The movie, which was scheduled to hit theatres on Sept. 27th, revolves around “a group of globalist elites” who hunt humans for sport. Universal has now issued 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.”

Back in 2017, MGM delayed their Death Wish remake following a mass shooting in Las Vegas, eventually releasing it six months later than originally planned. It is unclear if The Hunt has been fully cancelled or just delayed, but the latter seems more likely. U.S. president Donald Trump also appeared to indirectly condemn the movie on Twitter, which seems to have been the thing that ultimately caused it to get pulled. With several other violent movies scheduled to be released this fall, one can only wonder if any others will follow suit. Do you think Universal did the right thing or is this potentially setting a dangerous precedent?

  • Leo133

    Oh that’s the reason why? It wasn’t bc the plot is about murdering trump supporters, ie 50 million voters. Nice fake reporting Filmjunk

  • Pennington

    This controversy is ridiculous. If one simply pays attention to the trailer it’s clear that the people being killed are the heroes of the movie, and it’s about them bringing down the killers. People have their heads shoved so far up their asses these days it’s insane.

  • Beat_C

    oh america … “but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film.” what a weak statement form universal pictures. if it’s a satire, it’s EXACTLY the right moment. when art is giving in to political pressure, it’s always bad.

  • Lior

    The US is caught for years now in a disturbing and depressing cycle of gun violence. America emerged out of violence, both against oppressors and against indigenous people, and its media and entertainment has reflected that gun ethos since the days of the western. This is not a statement about the quality of the films – some are masterpieces, others are empty vehicles for glorified mayhem – but no one can argue that guns are heavily featured in American movies. So it’s very hard to find the “right” time to distribute these films. I remember when Gangster Squad came out a few years back there was a similar issue.
    Unhinged people keep shooting civilians with military grade weaponry, and Hollywood keeps making movies where the heroes or villains (usually both) carry arsenals of destruction. And these two happenings intersect all too often. I don’t know about this particular film, but again, a movie can feature guns and be about violence without glorifying it. Cinema can address this issue and comment about it in powerful ways with the right people behind the wheel (Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, Andrew Niccol’s Lord of War).

  • Loofton

    Is that Benedict Cumberbatch in a wig

  • Yes

  • Frank Booth

    Do your research. And eat shit.

  • Matt the Kiwi

    “Universal Pictures has, on relfection, realised that nobody was likely to see this film due to there being zero buzz about it but by announcing we’re cancelling its release until sometime next year, there will be an internet frenzy surrounding it, the likes of which money can’t buy.”