Human-hunting film set for release after Trump 'racist' row

The plot of The Hunt sees people who have been kidnapped from traditionally Republican bastions waking up in a field surrounded by "elite" hunters. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Hunt, a film in which elites hunt "ordinary Americans" for sport and which was pulled last year after sparking outrage, will be released next month.

It had been scheduled for a rollout last September but drew the ire of Republicans including President Donald Trump, who appeared to slam it as "racist".

The plot of The Hunt, yanked out after a series of mass shootings across the country, sees people who have been kidnapped from traditionally Republican bastions such as Wyoming, Mississippi and Florida waking up in a field surrounded by "elite" hunters.

Wealthy characters in the film refer to their prey as "deplorables", according to the Hollywood Reporter - a term Mrs Hillary Clinton used to describe Trump supporters during her presidential run against him in 2016.

"The most talked-about movie of the year is the one nobody has seen... yet," Universal said in a statement announcing its March 13 release date.

Apparently embracing the controversy, a poster for the movie has a quote attributed to Fox News reading: "Shows Hollywood for what it really is... demented and evil."

"Exploitative rather than opinionated," reads another, alongside the film's previous release date, which has been crossed out.

Last August, Universal explained its decision to postpone the "satirical social thriller" because "now is not the right time to release the film".

The decision came just days after fatal mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, as well as a gun rampage at a California festival.

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Advertisements for the film had already been pulled following the shootings but the movie drew Mr Trump's wrath nonetheless.

"The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos," he tweeted then, without referring to The Hunt by name.

Hollywood creates "their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true racists, and are very bad for our country", he added.

Producer Jason Blum told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published on Tuesday (Feb 11): "None of us was interested in taking sides with this movie. The audience is smart enough to know that what they're seeing is a satire and it's preposterous."

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