Movie release plans canceled after recent mass shootings and criticism from President Trump

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FILE – In this Aug. 23, 2016 file photo, the entrance to the Universal Studios lot is pictured in Universal City, Calif. Universal Pictures has canceled the planned September 2019 release of its controversial social thriller “The Hunt” in the wake of recent mass shootings and criticism from President Donald Trump. The studio said in a statement Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, that it had decided to cancel the film’s release altogether, saying “we understand that now is not the time” for the film. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

New York (AP) — Universal Pictures has canceled the planned September release of its controversial social thriller “The Hunt” in the wake of recent mass shootings and criticism from President Donald Trump.

The movie is a gory, R-rated political thriller that depicts liberal “elites” hunting people in red states for sport. Trump criticized the planned movie on Twitter Friday, without mentioning its name, saying it was intended “to inflame and cause chaos.”

Universal had already suspended the marketing campaign for the film, which stars Oscar winner Hilary Swank and is directed by Craig Zobel.

But the studio said in a statement Saturday that it had decided to cancel release altogether, saying “we understand that now is not the time” for the film.

It was due to hit theaters September 27.

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