Universal Pictures cancels the release of The Halt amidst backlash
In the wake of the recent shootings in the United States, Universal Pictures has decided to cancel the release of the controversial film, The Hunt.
The film features people of differing political parties violently hunting each other down as a sort of “sport” and would have hit the cinemas on the 27th September 2019.
The decision to halt the release of the film comes days after Universal had already decided to halt every form of marketing for the film.
“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 statement from Universal reads. “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.”
The website for the movie has also been shuttered, with only a copy of the above statement remaining on the page. The film’s trailer has also been taken down on YouTube by Universal Pictures, but copies still exist on other non-affiliated channels.
The first trailer for the film was initially released on 30 July, days after the shooting in Gilroy, California that left four dead.
The Hunt was directed by Craig Zobel (whose previous credits include drama-thrillers Compliance and Z for Zachariah) and stars Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts and Glow‘s Betty Gilpin among others.
The movie may still be released at a later date either in cinemas or on streaming platforms, according to BuzzFeed.
According to Variety, Swank told reporters Saturday at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland that she did not want to discuss the film.
“No one’s seen the film,” she adds. “You can’t really have a conversation about it without understanding what it’s about.”