Universal Pictures says "The Hunt" will hit theaters in March, seven months after the studio abruptly canceled its release following intense backlash from conservatives and President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE over its politically charged violence.

In a Tuesday tweet, Universal called the film "The most talked about movie of the year is one nobody’s seen yet" and unveiled its new trailer:


In its original promotional materials, the movie — which was originally poised to hit theaters last September — was described as a tale of “group of elites” who gather at a remote location to “hunt humans for sport.” Within the film, the hunted victims are referred to as “deplorables,” according to multiple reports.

Universal had originally delayed the marketing plan for the R-rated release after a pair of deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio last August. 

But the movie's controversial plot became the subject of heated debate on cable news and in conservative circles. Trump appeared to fan the flames of the brewing media firestorm in a series of tweets, writing last August — without specifically naming "The Hunt" — that "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!" Trump added.


Universal Pictures made the surprise move to cancel the movie's release on Aug. 10, a little more than a month before it was poised to hit the big screen.

"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," Universal said at the time in a statement.

A source close to the studio tells ITK that no changes were made to the film.

“We understand how 'The Hunt' was initially misunderstood, but all we ever set out to do was make a satire about the current moment and we hope we achieved that," Damon Lindelof, the movie's co-writer and producer, told ITK in a statement. "We’re relieved and excited the movie is going to see the light of day and love it or hate it, we have complete faith in the American public to make up their minds for themselves."

"We felt like everybody got it wrong because no one had seen the movie," producer Jason Blum said in an interview with Variety.

Asked by Variety if there was concern that Trump could target the film's release again, Lindelof replied, "We’re not concerned and our hope is that if the president talks about the movie again, it’s because he’s seen it versus what he is being told by others."

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

—Updated at 1:39 p.m.