Marketing for The Hunt suspended after mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton

The marketing for upcoming film The Hunt has been suspended in the US following the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

In the film, a group of 12 'ordinary folk' mysteriously wake up to discover they are being hunted down and murdered by a group of wealthy elites.

Connor Betts, who killed nine people and injured dozens more in Dayton on Sunday (local time), appears to have fantasised about "hunting" people with a friend.

The Hunt's promotional material features the actors using assault rifles and pistols to murder humans for sport.

"Out of sensitivity to the attention on the country's recent shooting tragedies, Universal Pictures and the filmmakers of The Hunt have temporarily paused its marketing campaign and are reviewing materials as we move forward," the studio said in a statement.

Betts, who was shot dead by police during his rampage, had written in his friend Ian Himes' book about hunting people with scrawlings that have now been published online.

"The light forever eclipsed. A champion of wrath, predatory state, to hunt and to kill my greatest escape," Betts is said to have written.

Another message Himes says Betts wrote to him states: "Bro we should go to a weekend @ UD geeked af & see if we can't go "hunting", ya know?... We take a bitch, a person, man and convince them to come with us, then poof, gone."

The Hunt stars Ike Barinholtz, Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts and Hilary Swank and is scheduled to open in New Zealand cinemas on October 17.


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