Universal Pictures announced Saturday that the studio has canceled its planned release for the upcoming horror film The Hunt, just a day after President Donald Trump seemed to criticize the movie and “liberal Hollywood” in a series of tweets.
In the aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, Universal paused their marketing push for the film, a Most Dangerous Game-inspired thriller about elites killing blue-collar people (“deplorables,” as they’re called in the trailer) for sport, Variety reports. On Saturday, Universal announced the film’s release would be scrapped entirely.
“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,” Universal 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.”
Universal Pictures’ decision follows Trump’s tweets – fueled by a Fox News report earlier that day – that blamed “liberal Hollywood” for creating “great anger and hate.”
“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 tweeted, adding of The Hunt, “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!”
Blumhouse, the production company behind The Hunt as well as Get Out, The Purge franchise and Paranormal Activity, has not yet commented on the film’s canceled release. The Hunt was due to arrive in theaters on September 27th; it’s unclear whether the film’s theatrical release is postponed or if it will eventually be released on video-on-demand or streaming services.