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While Hollywood is no stranger to controversy, it’s rare that you see a movie outright pulled as a result of it. But that’s exactly what happened a little over a week ago when The Hunt, a Blumhouse Productions movie that was originally supposed to be released in late September, was taken off the calendar by its distributor, Universal Pictures, days after the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.
As things stand now, there are no plans for The Hunt to get a new theatrical release, but Blumhouse president Jason Blum believes there is still the possibility that the movie could still eventually come out. As he put it:
Definitely a chance. I hope so.
For those who are unfamiliar with The Hunt, it revolves around 12 strangers who are kidnapped and placed in a mysterious location by a group of rich individuals who plan to hunt these “deplorables.” However, once one of the hunted manages to turn the tables, the captured are slowly able to bring the fight to their captors. Its cast included GLOW’s Betty Gilpin, Blockers’ Ike Barinholtz, Scream Queens’ Emma Roberts, Million Dollar Baby’s Hilary Swank, This Is Us’ Justin Hartley and many more.
This premise had already generated some politically-charged debate around The Hunt even before the mass shootings happened. Following the tragedies, Universal Pictures initially just halted marketing the movie, but a day after President Donald Trump obliquely criticized The Hunt, the studio decided to shelve it. Still, Jason Blum is hopeful that there will come a time where the public will get to see this finished film in some form or fashion.
During his interview with Vulture, Jason Blum was also asked if he’s learned any lessons after everything that’s happened with The Hunt that will alter his approach as a producer going forward. Blum responded:
I learned a lot of lessons. Wouldn’t alter my … If I was offered the choice to make the movie again, I would say yes. We definitely made marketing mistakes, and we made plenty of mistakes along the way. So I’ve learned a lot. It might change how I would position movies and how I would consult on the marketing of the movies. But actually the making of the movies? No.
The Hunt is one of the few dark spots for Blumhouse’s output in recent years, as the production company has churned out numerous hits, like Get Out, Us, BlacKkKlansman, the most recent Halloween (which has two sequels on the way) and The Purge film series. Even with The Hunt being kept from the masses (for now), Blumhouse still has three more theatrical offerings on the way before the year is over: Don’t Let Go at the end of the month, September’s Bloodline and December’s Black Christmas.
If it’s announced that The Hunt will head back to theaters or perhaps be moved to a streaming service, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know about it. For now, you can find out which movies are still set to arrive later this year in our 2019 release schedule.