After the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the studio behind the upcoming film “The Hunt” decided it was time to stop playing commercials for the movie. Now, however, the film will reportedly be yanked from theaters altogether. The Hollywood Reporter says that Universal Studios has decided to scrap the film’s September 27 release date, bringing to an abrupt end a movie that had already stirred plenty of political controversy well before anyone had actually seen it.
While it remains unclear exactly what type of film “The Hunt” was going to be, the plot apparently centered around a group of liberal elites who took Trump supporting conservatives into captivity. Then, in a plot similar to the famous short story “The Most Dangerous Game,” the “deplorables” are shuttled off to a private game reserve where they are then hunted by the elites in gory fashion.
Ads for the film referred to it as “satirical,” but without seeing it, it’s hard to know where the filmmaker’s sympathies lie. Was this meant to be a statement on the outrageousness of liberal elites? Are the “deplorables” the good guys/victims in the movie? Is it supposed to be one big joke about how Trump supporters feel victimized by the left? Or was it just supposed to be a big-screen fantasy, played out for laughs?
No matter what the point of the movie, it seemed like a very bad idea from the get-go, and Universal is probably making the right decision by pulling it from theaters ahead of its release. This kind of “entertainment” is the last thing we need in our current political environment.
“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 spokesperson for the studio 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.”
It’s unclear if the studio’s decision had anything to do with Trump’s remarks the previous day.
“Liberal Hollywood is racist at the highest level, and with great anger and hate,” Trump tweeted. “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. 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!”
Well, we expect that Universal will come back to the film next year at some point after the immediate heat has died down. But since they won’t be eager to draw any attention to it, it’s probably going to bomb pretty spectacularly. Maybe next time a screenwriter comes up with a “great” idea to make a film pitting murderous liberals against Trump supporters, Hollywood will have the wisdom to take a pass.