Universal Pictures has canceled the release of its upcoming thriller “The Hunt.” The film was previously set to hit theaters Sept. 27.
“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 spokesperson for Universal 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.”
Universal Pictures is owned by NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC News.
Insiders tell Variety that the studio came to the decision alongside “The Hunt” filmmakers. They also said it was a tough decision for the company, but studio leadership ultimately determined that the film could wait.
Previously, Universal put a temporary halt on marketing for the film following a series of mass shootings. In the film’s few marketing materials that did air, stars such as Betty Gilpin and Ike Barinholtz could be seen brandishing assault rifles and pistols while taking on a group of would-be hunters.
Other cast members included Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, Ethan Suplee and Justin Hartley. Jason Blum is producing for Blumhouse Productions alongside Damon Lindelof under his White Rabbit flag, and Craig Zobel directed.