Universal Pictures, owned by Comcast, has decided to release its controversial movie The Hunt on March 13.
Universal had originally planned to release The Hunt in September 2019 but pulled the movie from its schedule in August after an uproar surrounding its content — the original marketing campaign featured a group of “deplorables” being hunted by urban elites.
Universal canceled the release following complaints from conservative media and angry social media posts from President Trump, who said in a tweet that the movie demonstrated that "liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate.”
The decision also followed a series of mass shootings in Gilroy, Calif.; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio. The movie is loosely based on the Richard Connell short story “The Most Dangerous Game,” about a wealthy man who hunts humans for sport.
The movie will be released Friday the 13th, with a new ad campaign that emphasizes the movie’s satirical tone, and also makes it appear its sympathies are on the side of the hunted (including Ike Barinholtz). Hilary Swank is positioned as the movie’s villain, organizer of the hunt, which also appears to be a reality TV show gone wrong, with Swank’s character as the sadistic showrunner.
The new trailer for the The Hunt says, “The most talked about movies of the year is one nobody’s seen ... yet” and shows several kidnapped people being led into a rural setting where they are provided with guns to defend themselves.
“Every year these liberal elites kidnap a bunch of normal folks like us and hunt us for sport,” says one character.
The trailer appears to show the abductees defending themselves using violent means, and hints that director Craig Zobel’s movie may be intended as a media satire. As for its political leanings, if any, the trailers asks viewers to “Decide for Yourself.”