Entertainment

Universal will release controversial ‘Hunt’ film in March

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Universal Pictures said Tuesday that it will release the social satire “The Hunt,” a film it canceled in the wake of criticism about its premise of “elites” hunting people for sport in red states.

A trailer announcing the film’s March 13 release date presents the “elites” hunting regular people as a conspiracy theory. Star Hilary Swank says at one point that “it wasn’t real” amid images of shootings, explosions and other violence.

The trailer includes the line, “The most talked about movie of the year is one nobody’s seen yet.”

In August, Universal Pictures canceled a September release for “The Hunt” after criticism, including from President Donald Trump. The president, without mentioning the film by name, said it was intended “to inflame and cause chaos.”

The cancellation came after the studio had already paused the ad campaign for the R-rated film in the wake of mass shootings in Texas, Ohio and California.

The film features 12 strangers who awake in a clearing who don’t yet know they’ve been chosen for The Hunt, but one of them manages to turn the table on the pursuers, a synopsis released Tuesday stated.

“The Hunt,” produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse, stars Oscar winner Swank and Betty Gilpin, and is directed by Craig Zobel. It was written by Damon Lindelof and his “Watchmen” collaborator Nick Cuse.

News of the film’s release was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

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Indiana joins investigation of Juul Labs

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indiana is now one of 39 states forming a coalition to investigate the marketing and sales practices of Juul Labs. The investigation includes the targeting of kids, claims of nicotine content, and statements on the risks and effectiveness of smoking cessation devices.

“Vaping poses significant health concerns, and it’s intended only as an alternative to smoking tobacco,” Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said. “Young Hoosiers need to be aware of these risks. We must encourage them to avoid these products, which should only be aimed at adults who want to quit smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products.”

The National Youth Tobacco Survey, conducted in 2019, found over 5 million young people reported using e-cigarettes within the past month, which was up from 3.6 million the prior year. 

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