Rumor: Universal to Still Release “The Hunt” Despite Public Statement to the Contrary

My source tells me that Universal Pictures still plans to release The Hunt despite a public statement to the contrary.

In a statement released over the weekend Universal stated:

“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.”

The film, written by HBO’s Watchmen showrunner Damon Lindelof, became the center of controversy over the weekend. (Related: Damon Lindelof Declares HBO’s Watchmen Series Is About “White Supremacy”)

The film’s TV spots were dropped by ESPN. President Donald Trump would also take to Twitter to describe the film as an attempt to “inflame and cause chaos.” He would add, “They create their own violence, and then try to blame others.” (Related: President Trump Rehashes Tired Rhetoric, Calls for Action Against “Gruesome and Grisly Video Games” In The Wake of El Paso and Dayton Shootings)

The Daily Mail also reported the film was originally called Red State Vs. Blue State and that the individuals being hunted in the film were described as “deplorables.” However, it’s unclear if they were depicted as heroes.

My source provided me with a marketing campaign email providing details of the film’s release for September 27, 2019. The email arrived after Universal had released their statement indicating they had paused their marketing campaign and had canceled the plans to release the film.

The email included a poster for The Hunt.

The Hunt poster

It also included a synopsis of the film:

“Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don’t where they are, or how they got there. They know they’ve been chosen… for a very specific purpose… The Hunt.

In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, a bunch of elites gathers for the very time at a remote Manor House to hunt humans for sport. But the elites’ master plan is about to be derailed because one of the hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, GLOW) knows The Hunters’ game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off, one by one, as she makers her toward the mysterious woman (two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank) at the center of it all.”

Now, it’s quite possible this might have been an automated email that was scheduled to go out before Universal indicated they were cancelling the movie. However, if it was, they are sending some mixed signals and need to set the record straight.

The Hunt stars Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank, and Sturgill Simpson as a character named Kid Rock. The film was written by Damon Lindelof and The Leftovers co-creator Nick Cuse. The movie was directed by Craig Zobel. It was produced by Jason Blum and Lindelof. (Related: Horror Producer Jason Blum Receives Massive Backlash Due to ‘Female Horror Directors’ Comment)

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