Warner Bros. Shelves Another Major Completed Movie For Tax Write-off

By Britta DeVore | Published


Warner Bros. Discovery is at it again as the studio has axed yet another completed project to take the write-off and run. Deadline reports that the David Zaslav-headed team won’t be moving forward with its part live-action, part animated Coyote vs. Acme despite having already dropped $70 million on the feature. In return, they’ll make $30 million back for not releasing the finished film, a move that mirrors what they previously did with the unreleased 2022 Batgirl.

Warner Bros. Won’t Release Coyote Vs. Acme

will forte coyote vs acme

Coyote vs. Acme was set to center around the classic characters, Wile E. Coyote, and Roadrunner, with the former being fed up with his continuous failed attempts of catching the speedy bird. Blaming his luck on the goods from Acme, Wile E. Coyote takes the Acme Corporation to court with the help of his lawyer (Will Forte) for their misleading marketing techniques. On the other side of the case is the lawyer’s ex-boss (John Cena) who is willing to do whatever it takes to stop the man and cartoon from coming out victorious.

James Gunn Wrote The Story And The Movie Stars John Cena

Directed by David Green, Coyote vs. Acme was also backed by DC Studios co-head James Gunn who penned the script alongside James Slater and Samy Burch. Unfortunately, even with Gunn’s name attached alongside stars like Cena and Forte, nothing could keep Coyote vs. Acme on Warner Bros. Discovery’s docket when the studio took a closer look at the budget. But, it wasn’t always shaping up to be this way.

Like Batgirl, The Film Could Have Potentially Been A Huge Hit

leslie grace batgirl

There’s a lot that’s fishy when taking a closer look at Coyote vs. Acme and its run with Warner Bros. Discovery as, unlike other films that were cut from its slate including Batgirl and the animated Scoob Holiday Haunt!, the hybrid live-action animation project had impressive test scores.

Running at about 14 points above what is typically seen for family movies, this bit of information plus the fact that the film was ready to be rolled out makes it even crazier that the studio sacked it. According to the news outlet, it all came down to the cash flow with Warner Bros. Discovery taking the write-off as opposed to releasing it and losing money or selling it to other buyers and losing money.

Hollywood Studios Making Big Changes

The news surrounding the shelving of Coyote vs. Acme comes hot on the heels of a deal being reached that ended the historical SAG-AFTRA strike. Not the only studio to be making major decisions, Warner Bros. Discovery is just one of many companies crushing the hopes of fans by either pulling content or pushing it back for a later release date. Marvel Studios made similar announcements yesterday, revealing that titles including Deadpool 3, Thunderbolts, and Blade would all be rescheduled for later releases. Thankfully, none of them were canceled. 

Warner Bros. Discovery Has Had A Rocky 2023

warner bros discovery david zaslav

On top of everything, it’s been a rough fiscal year for Warner Bros. Discovery as their films (aside from Barbie) haven’t been performing incredibly well at the global box office. Although the DC is now in the hands of James Gunn and Peter Safran, that couldn’t stop it from seeing a year full of blunders with titles including The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Looking to make up their missing cash wherever possible, it’s a bummer that the studio shelved Coyote vs. Acme but not a complete and utter shock.