Coyote Vs. Acme Director Devastated By Film’s Treatment

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

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David Zaslav was seemingly back to his film-slashing ways, and he might have gotten away with it too. But director David Green and Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price were speaking out against the Warner Bros. Discovery president. It appears that Green’s “devastation” over the film seemingly being canceled actually had a material effect on it’s chances on actually hitting the big screen.

Coyote Vs. Acme Had Been Canceled

According to Deadline, Warner Bros. had officially axed the third nearly completed film in three years, choosing to take a write-off for the Looney Toons live-action/animated hybrid Coyote Vs. Acme rather than risk garnering low numbers at the box office.

But, unlike some other movies in the past, it appears Price’s and other stakeholders’ reactions might have actually saved the flick.

Win one for the creatives!

David Green Was Devastated About The Movie’s Cancellation

Director David Green took to Twitter/X to express his profound disappointment over the apparent shelving of ‘Coyote Vs. Acme.’

He praised the hard work and dedication of his team, who had invested years into bringing the project to life, and acknowledged the positive feedback from test audiences.

Green shared his personal connection with the project, stating, “For three years, I was lucky enough to make a movie about Wile E. Coyote, the most persistent, passionate, and resilient character of all time.”

Coyote Vs. Acme Now Being Shopped Instead Of Canceled

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It sure seemed like Coyote Vs. Acme was about to have the same fate as the scrapped Batgirl movie in the DC Universe, shuttered for a tax writeoff for Warner Bros.

But the studio heads, Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, along with their new animation boss, Bill Damaschke, have had a change of heart. They’re now letting the creators shop the movie around to other studios.

This decision came after quite a bit of online buzz from filmmakers, like Green, and some intense discussions with the director and the stars’ reps.

It’s not to say that the movie will definitely find a new home, but at least now there’s a bit of hope we get the “Meep, meep” after all.

Steven Price Spoke Out About Coyote Vs. Acme Cancellation

Steven Price, who previously won an Oscar for his work on Warner Bros.’ Gravity, took to social media platform X to express his frustration with the studio’s decision, citing “bizarre anti-art studio financial shenanigans.”

Price then shared a clip of the “Meep Meep” Roadrunner choir, which sang a Tchaikovsky-inspired anthem featuring only the word “meep,” so that fans could see a clip showcasing the potential of what Coyote Vs. Acme might have been.

Answering questions his followers left in the comments, Price revealed that, unlike the other two nearly completed projects that Warner Bros. Discovery canceled within the last year, Coyote Vs. Acme was already complete, including the final animation and sound mixing.

He described the situation as “a weird one” and lamented the fact that a good film had been “scrubbed from existence.”

Canceling Movies For Tax Purposes

coyote vs acme

Warner Bros. Discovery justified the original decision to cancel Coyote Vs. Acme by taking a $30 million write-down instead of releasing the finished movie either theatrically or on their streaming platform, Max.

It was a quizzical move to say the least, especially considering that the 2024 calendar is in desperate need of new releases after the production delays caused by the recent writers and actors strikes.

Not The First Movie Canceled, But Maybe The First Saved?

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This abrupt decision marked the third time under the leadership of Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav that a film had been shelved, following the cancellations of Batgirl and Scoob Holiday Haunt!

While the former two films were not fully polished, Coyote vs. Acme had completed production with a reported $70 million budget.

In all three cases, creatives behind the projects have spoken out about their disappointment that these projects will never see the public eye.

Others Had Spoken Out As Well

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Adding to the criticism, UK composer Daniel Pemberton, known for his work on Warner Bros. films such as Ocean’s Eight, Birds of Prey, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., condemned the studio’s behavior in canceling the completed Coyote Vs. Acme.

Pemberton emphasized the impact on creatives, stating, “This behavior is not only terrible, but any half-decent creative is gonna think twice signing up huge chunks of their life to throw everything they have at a project from studios that seem pretty cavalier about ever letting that work get seen… WB playing a terrible long game.”

His sentiments were echoed by voice actor Bazua, who criticized the film’s cancellation on Instagram, attributing it to corporate decisions and highlighting the significant gap this leaves in the industry, especially in light of recent strikes.

Time will tell what happens with Coyote Vs. Acme, but at least for now, the graph is pointing up.