The Thriller Movie that created Uproar in Hollywood
NBC Universal will not be releasing controversial movie The Hunt in theaters next month as planned, following a backlash over the film's themes that depicts 'privileged' vacationers hunting 'deplorables' for sport.
There have been widespread objections to the movie's plot, particularly in light of the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that left 31 dead.
The studio's decision came just one day after President Trump lambasted the film, calling its creators 'racist' and saying the movie was 'made to inflame and cause chaos'.
'Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate! They like to call themselves “Elite,” but they are not Elite. In fact, it is often the people that they so strongly oppose that are actually the Elite,' Trump scorned from the White House Lawn.
'The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!'
The Hunt is supposedly a satirical take on wealthy thrill-seekers who take a private jet to a five-star resort where they embark on a 'deeply rewarding' expedition that involves hunting down and killing designated humans.
NBC's Universal Pictures had agreed to 'temporarily pause' the movie's marketing campaign in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio that left a total of 34 people dead.
The violent, gun-toting film revolves around a group people from predominately Republican states being kidnapped and hunted for sport by liberal elites.
GLOW's Betty Gilpin stars opposite Hilary Swank, the two leads playing women on different political divides in an exaggerated re-imagining.
But in a statement on Saturday, Universal said 'after thoughtful consideration', they decided to cancel the films release on September all together.
'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.'
It continued: '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
For the moment, the Hunt's future remains unclear. Interpreting Universal's statement, the film may have its release scheduled for later date, or it could go to directly to streaming once Comcast launches its service.
In the screenplay for movie, characters in the film apparently refer to the victims as 'deplorables,' - a term that Hillary Clinton infamously dubbed Trump supporters during the 2016 election.
The film was originally called Red State Vs. Blue State. It has caused outrage, with conservatives calling it everything from 'political violence' to 'sick murder fantasies about right-wingers.'
Speaking at the Locarno Film Festival on Saturday, Swank told reporters that she wouldn't be discussing
The Hunt, saying: 'No one’s seen the film. You can’t really have a conversation about it without understanding what it’s about.
However, Swank did use the opportunity to hit back at President Trump, and his comments regarding the current climate of the entertainment world.
'My desire to tell certain stories has always been the same, no matter who the president is…The choices that I’ve made pretty much inform who I am as a person, and that’s not going to change no matter what’s happening,' Swank told Varietu.
To executives, the film represents a satire addressing current social issues.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the controversial film was divisive back in May 2018 when film chief Donna Langley acquired the script and fast tracked it on a $18 million budget.
One executive told The Hollywood Reporter, 'The idea seemed crazy' and didn't even read the script.
A filmmaker involved with Universal said: 'Employees in different departments were questioning the wisdom of making such a movie in these times.'
A Universal executive believes the movie, 'is meant to show what a stupid, crazy world we live in. It might even be more powerful now.'
On August 3, gunman Patrick Crusius entered a Walmart and killed a total of 22 people and left more than two dozen wounded in El Paso, Texas.
A mass shooting happened the next day in Dayton, Ohio when Connor Betts opened fire at a bar and killed 10 people.
It came just days after Santino William Legan, attacked The Gilroy Garlic festival in California. Four people were killed, including the gunman and a six-year-old boy on July 28.