Warner Bros. has decided to allow the creators of Coyote vs. Acme to shop the scrapped project to other potential distributors. According to Puck News, the decision was made by studio film chiefs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, along with new animation head Bill Damaschke, after an online outcry by filmmakers and some heated exchanges with reps for the director and stars.
Warner Bros. Scraps The Film
In early November, Warner Bros. decided not to move forward with the $70 million CGI/live-action hybrid Looney Tunes movie, opting instead for a $30 million tax write-off. The decision to scrap the completed Coyote Vs. Acme, despite positive test screenings and a star-studded cast of John Cena, Will Forte, Lana Condor, and Eric Bauza, sparked criticism from fans and industry insiders.
Director Dave Green Responds On Social Media
Director Dave Green expressed his disappointment on social media, thanking the dedicated team who worked tirelessly on Coyote Vs. Acme. He also acknowledged the support of test audiences. Voice actor Bazua lamented the film’s demise on Instagram, attributing it to corporate greed. He even highlighted the missed opportunity for completed films to fill the void created by strikes.
Others Share Their Grievances About The Decision
Composer Steven Price took to social media to criticize the decision, deeming it “anti-art studio financial shenanigans.” Price shared a poignant video of a choir recording music for the film, emphasizing the artistic effort that would unseen if the film is not released. Filmmaker BenDavid Grabinski described Coyote Vs. Acme as a “great” movie, drawing parallels to classics like Roger Rabbit.
“Coyote vs. Acme is a great movie,” Grabinski wrote on social media. “The best of its kind since Roger Rabbit. It’s commercial. It tested well. The leads are super likable. It’s beautifully shot. The animation is great. The ending makes everyone f**king cry. I thought the goal of this business was to make hit movies?
The Decision Follows A Trend At Warner Bros.
Coyote vs. Acme follows Wile E. Coyote, who, after facing repeated misfortunes with Acme Corporation’s products in his quest to catch the Road Runner, decides to take legal action. He hires an equally unlucky human attorney to file a lawsuit against the company. When the lawyer discovers that his previous firm’s boss is also the CEO of Acme, he joins forces with Wile E. to secure victory in the courtroom.
The decision to scrap completed Max films like Coyote Vs. Acme is not isolated but part of a broader trend in the industry. Warner Bros. attributed the cancellation to a shift in its global strategy, with a renewed focus on theatrical releases. However, insiders believe that cost-cutting measures are likely related to the 2022 merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery.
Will Coyote Vs. Acme Find A New Home?
By canceling completed projects, like Coyote Vs. Acme studios avoid additional expenses related to marketing and promotion, saving tens of millions in the process. The oversaturation of content on streaming services also plays a role, with platforms seeking financial benefits or tax write-offs for shows that do not align with their strategic goals.
The fallout from the scrapping of Coyote Vs. Acme is not an isolated incident. Scrapping projects like Minx Season 2 has caused concern, with industry professionals questioning the logic behind investing valuable resources in a project only to throw it out later.
As the industry grapples with the consequences of these decisions, it becomes crucial to strike a balance between financial considerations and the artistic integrity of completed projects. This is probably why Warner Bros. decided to allow the team behind Coyote Vs. Acme to find a new home for the film.