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A rash of mass shootings in America that left 34 people dead and dozens more injured in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio have dominated the headlines recently. Now, in the wake of these recent shootings and the tragic losses of life, an upcoming Blumhouse movie has stopped marketing.
According to Deadline, Universal Pictures is hitting pause on the marketing campaign for the studio’s Blumhouse release The Hunt in light of the recent tragedies. In a statement, a rep for Universal said that the marketing has been temporarily paused out of sensitivity and that marketing materials will be reviewed moving forward. It seems that there will not be any TV or digital spots aired for the film, nor will any outdoor advertisements be put up.
ESPN already pulled an approved ad for The Hunt last weekend, but a TV spot did air on AMC during the season premiere of Preacher. It seems that will be the end of the TV spots for The Hunt, at least for the time being, while Universal evaluates the marketing materials and decides how to proceed.
The statement from Universal said that marketing has been “temporarily paused,” indicating it could restart at some point, but for now everything is on hold. The Hunt will not be delayed though, as it's still set to release on September 27. Films have been delayed in the past following mass shootings, like 2017’s Death Wish remake, which was pushed back following the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people.
The marketing halt for The Hunt makes sense given the content of the film. In a plot that will sound familiar to anyone who read Richard Connell’s short story The Most Dangerous Game in high school, The Hunt follows a dozen strangers who are kidnapped only to wake up in a clearing where they are being hunted by elites.
The trailer for The Hunt is really fun and it certainly looks like another Blumhouse hit, but it pits characters on opposite sides of the political spectrum against one another and features lots of weapons, especially guns, and shows people hunting other people for sport. So it would be understandable for someone to be upset by seeing that given recent events and it is therefore probably a wise move on Universal’s part to suspend marketing for now.
The Hunt comes from Craig Zobel, who previously directed Z for Zachariah. The film is written by Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse, who is the son of Lindelof’s fellow showrunner on Lost, Carlton Cuse. The Hunt features a fun cast including GLOW’s Betty Gilpin, Oscar winner Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, Ethan Suplee, Justin Hartley and Ike Barinholtz.
The Hunt opens in theaters on September 27. Check out our premiere guide to keep track of all the movies headed your way this fall.