Universal Pictures is reevaluating its advertising for the upcoming political thriller “The Hunt” in the wake of three mass shootings in the U.S. in just over a week, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A spokesman for the studio told HuffPost that the mass shootings did factor into a shift in the movie’s marketing campaign, but also that it is typical for a movie’s marketing to change in the lead-up to its release.
Set for release in September, “The Hunt” depicts a group of gun-toting strangers who find themselves part of a scheme in which “a bunch of elites kidnap normal folks like us and hunt us for sport,” as actor Ike Barinholtz says in the trailer.
Produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions, which was also behind “Get Out” and “The Purge,” the movie stars Barinholtz, Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts and Hilary Swank, among others. It was co-written by “Lost” and “The Leftovers” co-creator Damon Lindelof.
ESPN has pulled ads for the movie that were to continue running over the coming weeks, a source told The Hollywood Reporter, including one last weekend that “opened with a sound resembling an emergency broadcast signal.”
Representatives for the network did not respond to multiple requests for comment.