The upcoming (?) animated hybrid Coyote Vs. ACME may have just suffered one of the shortest production lives ever. It was announced that John Cena would star in the film, which would pit Wile E. Coyote of Looney Tunes against the company that failed him so many times. But in spite of a great cast and a fun premise, Coyote Vs. Acme has mysteriously disappeared from Warner Bros’ release schedule.
Yesterday Comic Book and others pointed out the missing John Cena movie. On Tuesday, the release date for the Margot Robbie-led Barbie film was announced — July 21, 2023, which had previously been the bowing date for Coyote Vs. ACME. That in and of itself doesn’t spell disaster. After all, Warner Bros. — like just about ever major movie studio — has suffered a lot of scheduling shake ups in the last few years. In fact, back in March the studio announced it was pushing almost its entire 2022 slate of tentpole films back, with some flicks like The Flash and Aquaman and the Last Kingdom getting delayed to 2023. The big difference is that unlike the March announcement, Warner Bros. has so far failed to reschedule Coyote Vs. ACME.
There’s no word yet on exactly why the animation/live-action hybrid remains in limbo. With an iconic IP and an increasingly bankable star like John Cena, you would think Warner Bros. would make Coyote Vs. ACME a priority. It’s likely unrelated, but nevertheless interesting, that this news comes right before a trailer drops for what’s bound to be another popular animation/live-action hybrid. Today the first preview for the Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers movie dropped, with a story that feels a lot like 1998’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit and an animated Chip (John Mulaney) partnered with a CGI Dale (Andy Samberg). You can see that trailer below.
The premise for Coyote Vs. ACME honestly sounds a lot more promising. The film is set to be directed by Dave Green (Earth to Echo), and written by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Samy Burch (The Hunger Games). The story is based on a New Yorker Magazine article written by Ian Frazier, and finds Wile E. Coyote suing ACME for all those contraptions he’s used to try to capture the elusive Roadrunner. Will Forte (MacGruber) will represent the Coyote in court while John Cena will play the main villain — the lawyer for ACME as well as Forte’s old boss. Lana Condor (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) has also been cast in an undisclosed role.
It’s particularly surprising that Warner Bros. has not yet bothered to reschedule Coyote Vs. ACME when you consider it once again teams up James Gunn and John Cena, whose last two collaborations — last year’s The Suicide Squad and the HBO Max series Peacemaker — have been some of the studio’s most recent high profile successes. Warner Bros. has apparently been so impressed with Gunn’s work they’ve continued to greenlight as of yet unveiled DC Comics related projects with Gunn at the helm. It’s enough to make you think something else is at play here, like the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger.