The Hunt was originally set for release last fall before it garnered backlash over gun violence

By Ale Russian
February 11, 2020 01:52 PM

The Hunt is back on after backlash kept the thriller from movie screens last fall.

The film, produced by horror powerhouse Jason Blum (Get Out) and cowritten by Damon Lindelof (HBO’s Watchmen), was originally pulled from release by Universal Pictures in August last year. The decision came amid several tragic mass shootings that shook the nation, including the El Paso, Texas shooting.

Six months later, the movie will now be hitting theaters nationwide on March 13.

This is not a dangerous movie,” Lindelof told Variety in a new interview published Tuesday. “This is not a provocative movie. This is not a divisive movie.”

Starring Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank, The Hunt tells the story of rich elites who kidnap people from heartland states like Wyoming and Mississippi and then set them loose in the wild to be hunted by people who pay for the privilege.

RELATED: Hilary Swank and Betty Gilpin’s The Hunt Will Not Be Released in Theaters Following Controversy

The movie was also pulled after conservative pundits claimed it was about liberal elites hunting Republican-voting everyday people.

The Hunt was even criticized by President Donald Trump at the time of the backlash, who didn’t name the movie in his tweets.

“Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate!” Trump wrote in a two-part tweet. “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!”

Betty Gilpin in The Hunt

“It’s probably the most judged movie that’s ever existed that everyone who judged it hadn’t seen,” Blum told The Hollywood Reporter. “We weren’t going to win the conversation around that and so it was our decision, in holding hands with Universal, to take the movie off the schedule.”

In August, the studio released a statement explaining it would be holding the planned Sept. 27, 2019 release of the movie.

“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 Universal Pictures spokesperson 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.”

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