Universal Pictures has decided not to release The Hunt following a series of mass shootings and backlash from conservatives.
The thriller about liberals who hunt conservatives and kill them for sport, was scheduled to arrive in theaters on Sept. 27.
Instead, Universal decided to put the film back on the shelf. This latest decision comes after the studio halted the marketing campaign following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
“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,” the studio said in a statement Saturday.
“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 statement added.
The trailer for the film shows people being kept in enclosures just before “the hunt” begins.
“Every year a bunch of elites kidnap a bunch of normal folk like us,” a man says in the video. “And hunt us for sport.”
The captives say they come from Wyoming, Mississippi and Florida before they are hunted down with assault rifles, pistols and a bow and arrow. According to published reports, the characters in the film refer to their prey as “deplorables.”
The first trailer debuted in July, but the movie didn’t start to make headlines until Fox News began to cover it, with the network’s hosts expressing outrage over the movie’s plot.
President Trump then began tweeting about the film, saying it encouraged “anger and hate,” although he didn’t mention it by name.
“Liberal Hollywood is racist at the highest level, and with great anger and hate!” he wrote Friday in a pair of tweets. “They like to call themselves ‘elite,’ but they are not elite. In fact, it is often the people that they so strongly oppose that are actually the Elite.”
“The movie coming out is made in order … to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true racists, and are very bad for our country!” he added.
The cast for the film includes Emmy nominee Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Justin Hartley, Ethan Suplee and Ike Barinholtz. Oscar winner Hilary Swank also stars.
The film comes from Blumhouse, the company behind The Purge, Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Us.