Producer Jason Blum admits Blumhouse and Universal Pictures made “marketing mistakes” when advertising horror-thriller The Hunt, which had its theatrical release pulled in the wake of recent mass shootings.
“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,” Blum told Vulture. “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.”
Craig Zobel’s politically charged satire, penned by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof, centers on kidnapped Americans dumped in Europe and hunted by rich “elites.”
Universal first suspended the marketing campaign before the studio announced it had cancelled its plans to release The Hunt into theaters September 27.
“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 said in a statement.
Both Universal and Blum consider The Hunt indefinitely postponed. Asked if there is a chance the film will see a future release, Blum answered, “Definitely a chance. I hope so.”
A report from THR revealed a second test screening, hosted in early August, made its audience visibly uncomfortable. The film, publicly denounced by President Trump on Twitter, proved so controversial the studio’s internal security became involved when the filmmakers and Universal executives received death threats sent through email and social media.
“What they’re doing with the kind of movies they're putting out, it’s actually very dangerous for our country. What Hollywood is doing is a tremendous disservice to our country,” Trump told press at the White House earlier this month. In a subsequent tweet, Trump didn’t directly reference The Hunt, but said “the movie coming out” was made “to inflame and cause chaos.”