The Hunt on hold

Universal cancels release following mass shootings

by Jennie Kermode

The Most Dangerous Game first brought the subject of hunting humans to the big screen in 1932
The Most Dangerous Game first brought the subject of hunting humans to the big screen in 1932

Universal Studios announced last night that it will not be releasing satirical comedy The Hunt as planned, a decision made in light of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The film had been scheduled to open in the US on 27 September.

In a statement, Universal said that this is not the right time to release the film, implying that it may still do so at a later date. It insisted that it stands by "bold and visionary" filmmakers.

The plot of the film follows a group of people who style themselves 'the Elite' hunting down other people for reasons that apparently politically motivated. It stars Hilary Swank and Jason Kirkpatrick.

A few hours before the announcement, Donald Trump had attacked the film on Twitter, claiming that it was "made in order to inflame and cause chaos". For reasons not immediately clear, he referred to Hollywood filmmakers as racist and went on to say: "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."

Critics have described the studio's decision as censorship and giving way to political pressure, while some of those supporting the decision do not seem clear that the film is a satire and is not advocating the hunting of political opponents.

Share this with others on...

Making a connection Craig DiFrancia on The Irishman, Green Book and The Sound Of Philadelphia

Coming from reality François Ozon on discovering testimonies and making By The Grace Of God

Documenting the rainbow The non-fiction highlights of this year's NewFest

Hidden Places Isabelle Huppert on filming in Sintra, fashion and Frankie

Engaging Martin Scorsese Gay Talese on Martin Scorsese and The Irishman

Recording the soul Arnaud Desplechin on editing, Oh Mercy! and Cries And Whispers

A contemporary character Pietro Marcello on his film of Martin Eden and Jack London’s novel

Oscar animation longlist revealed 32 films under consideration

More news and features

We're bring you coverage of New York's NewFest and this year's Cambridge Film Festival.

We're looking forward to the London Korean Film Festival and the French Film Festival.

We've recently been at the New York Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, Manchester's Grimmfest, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, the San Sebastian Film Festival and Fantastic Fest in Austin.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.