There’s just no way. Three days ago they were handed a promo hook that any movie producer would kill for: “THE FILM THE PRESIDENT DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE.”

It’s inconceivable that they’d leave that unmonetized.

But in the unlikely event that they do, congrats to Trump and Fox News on protecting the people from this disgusting piece of [checks notes] right-wing populist propaganda:

Universal has decided to scrap the release of The Hunt — an R-rated satire in which elites hunt “deplorables” for sport — following a series of mass shootings across the country. The film had been set to hit theaters Sept. 27…

Even before Trump weighed in, the movie sparked an outcry on social media amid the public anger over gun violence, while networks entered into the conversation when ESPN pulled an ad for the film that it had previously cleared. Subsequently, Universal pulled all its spots.

“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 Saturday’s statement. “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.”

Rumors are circulating already that the film will in fact be released eventually. Universal’s PR strategy seems obvious: Use the free publicity from Trump to create a taboo mystique around the film by pretending to cancel it, then wait for the irate backlash to form demanding that the film be released for the sake of Art and Free Speech. Between the extra curiosity among the public at large and the impetus among Resistance types to spite Trump in any petty way they can, they’ll make twice as much money in tickets than they would have otherwise. I myself am now interested in seeing this schlocky “Most Dangerous Game” reboot at this point, just to know whether my suspicions that it’s actually pro-deplorable are correct. The world must have closure: Is “The Hunt” right-wing or not?

Maybe there’s a twist ending in which all of the working-class types from Arkansas and Mississippi who are being hunted by the elites are actually red-state liberals and the villains are country-club Republicans. That’d be a fun political knot for MAGA viewers to untangle.

More than anything, I’m curious whether there are any partisan politics involved in the film or if it’s a pure class commentary. According to THR, one character says, “Did anyone see what our ratf***er-in-chief just did?”, to which another replies, “At least The Hunt’s coming up. Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables.” But that’s from the screenplay, not from the finished product. Whether those lines made the final cut is unknown at the moment. Still, the narrative about it on the right has been set — and in our times, once a narrative is fixed it can’t be relinquished or else the libs win:

The one thing we know unambiguously from the trailer is that it’s a movie about the rich hunting the poor for sport. The rich are the monsters, whatever their partisan politics happen to be. If Graham wants to worry about the film inciting people, logically he should worry that some excitable viewer will conclude that it’s time for “rough justice” for the wealthy who have been getting away with murder in this country for too long. But that doesn’t fit the bogus grievance narrative around the film that’s been manufactured by Trump and Fox, so Graham has to adjust his concerns accordingly.

Here’s a rare voice of dissent on Fox, Guy Benson from our sister site Townhall, calling out the nonsense backlash to “The Hunt” on the right. I won’t re-post the trailer a third time but it occurred to me this weekend that it would have fit in perfectly on the now-defunct NRA TV. Average joes use the power of their own wits and some fine American-made firearms to turn the table on a bunch of cartoonish elites who are hunting them from sport? That’s a Wayne LaPierre fantasy come to life. In fact, if NRA TV had aired something like that, it’s the *left* that would have freaked out and accused the channel of right-wing incitement, essentially encouraging “deplorables” to murder their so-called oppressors. Can’t wait until the film is released!