Speed Reads


The Hunt filmmakers were reportedly receiving death threats prior to film's cancellation

Amid the firestorm over Universal's The Hunt that would eventually result in the film's cancellation, the executives and filmmakers involved reportedly faced death threats.

Universal's "internal security force became involved" last week as executives at the studio and The Hunt's filmmakers were having their lives threatened through email and social media, The Hollywood Reporter reports. This followed an Aug. 6 report on the film's plot, which is said to have revolved around red-state "deplorables" hunted by liberal elites for sport, although the trailer suggests the conservatives are likely the heroes.

The studio had already decided to pull advertising for The Hunt in the wake of two mass shootings, and it faced pressure to scrap the movie entirely, especially on Fox News. President Trump last week attacked Hollywood movies as "dangerous" and the seemed to go after The Hunt specifically, tweeting about an unnamed "movie coming out" that was "made in order to inflame and cause chaos."

Even prior to all of this outrage, some executives at Universal reportedly "had reservations" about The Hunt as far back as last year, and a test screening was reportedly held last week during which some viewers "were again expressing discomfort with the politics" of the film. The Reporter writes that Universal was "reluctant to cave to the outrage," but that it ultimately did so after deciding that in the wake of the mass shootings, the film was "so toxic, it wasn't worth the headaches."

But it sounds like by the time Trump was calling out the movie, it had already been called off, with IndieWire reporting the decision to scrap the film's September release came prior to the president's tweets.

As to whether The Hunt will ever actually come out in any form, that remains unclear, although Universal has pulled all trailers from YouTube. Still, the Reporter writes that "sources in the international film community say they are still interested in releasing it."