coyote vs acme film

What's Up With Warner Bros. 'Canceling' The Completed 'Coyote vs. Acme' Film In Favor Of A $30M Tax Write Off? The Controversy Explained

Early November 9th, news broke about film studio Warner Bros. deciding against releasing an upcoming Wiley Coyote film directed by Dave Green and produced by DC showrunner James Gunn. The decision comes a year after the studio faced backlash for shelving Batgirl, another finished fan-favorite film.

Criticism of the studio was only exacerbated by internet users who found out that the studio might receive a $30 million tax write-off by choosing not to release Coyote vs. Acme, and mounting backlash appears to have made the studio change its course of action. Here's a recap of the events of the past few days.

What Is 'Coyote vs. Acme' About?

Coyote vs. Acme was an upcoming live-action film based on the Looney Tunes character Wiley Coyote. The story follows Wiley Coyote as he tries to catch the Roadrunner using several Acme corporation contraptions, only to have all the products backfire on him. Coyote then enlists the help of an unlucky lawyer (played by Will Forte) to sue Acme Corporation, which is headed by his lawyer's old boss (played by John Cena).

Why Was Coyote vs. Acme Cancelled?

The film was originally scheduled to be released domestically in July 2023, but the date was changed in order to accommodate the Barbie movie. On November 9th, the studio announced that the film was being shelved entirely, with media outlets reporting that WB would be pocketing a $30 million tax write-off in doing so.

Culture Crave @CultureCrave Subscribe 'Coyote vs. Acme' has been thrown in the Warner Bros vault and will never release It had finished filming, was co-written by James Gunn, and starred John Cena 2:15 AM • Nov 10, 2023 5.3M Views

The news was met negatively by both fans and the creators of the film, with Assistant Art Director Lindsay Coda posting a "crew reel" showing behind-the-scenes videos of how the film was made. The use of real sets and practical effects was well-received by viewers who caught the clip before it was invariably copyright-struck and removed by WB. A still-live copy of the reel can be accessed via repost by @sylverpoint.

What Was The Response To News About The Film Being Cancelled?

Director Dave Green made a post on X about the film being canceled, speaking about the effort put into it by him and his crew.

Dave Green @dgreenmachine < All iCloud 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. I was surrounded by a brilliant team, who poured their souls into this project for years. We were all determined to honor the legacies of these historic characters and actually get them right. Along the ride, we were embraced by test audiences who rewarded us with fantastic scores. I am beyond proud of the final product, and beyond devastated by WB's decision. But in the spirit of Wile E. Coyote, resilience and persistence win the day. 3 2:51 AM - Nov 10, 2023 851.7K Views Done !

Screenwriter Peter Briggs made a post criticizing David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, saying that he "has turned a functioning movie studio into a mechanism to pay him an obscene amount of money annually, while not actually releasing movies," while filmmaker Brian Duffield made a post calling Warner Bros. "anti-art."

PETER BRIGGS @ThePeterBriggs #WGAW David Zaslav has turned a functioning movie studio into a mechanism to pay him an obscene amount of money annually, while not actually releasing movies. + DiscussingFilm @DiscussingFilm . 15h Warner Bros will get a $30M tax write-off from shelving 'COYOTE VS ACME'. The film was completed with very good test scores. Warner Bros reportedly thought it wasn't worth the cost to release or to sell to other buyers. Show more 3:33 AM . Nov 10, 2023 122.7K Views Brian Duffield @BrianDuffield I have seen this movie and it is excellent. It also tested in the high 90s repeatedly. It also had interested buyers. The people working at Warner Bros are anti-art and I hope multiple anvils drop on their heads. : 2:13 AM Nov 10, 2023 530.7K Views

Did Warner Bros Reverse Their Decision About 'Coyote vs. Acme'?

While no conclusive reports have emerged as of November 13th, some news outlets reported that Warner Bros has allowed the creators of the film to shop around for other distributors, largely in part due to the backlash against the decision to shelve the film.

Culture Crave @CultureCrave Warner Bros is reportedly now allowing the filmmakers of 'Coyote vs. Acme' shop the movie to other potential distributors after the backlash (via @pucknews) 12:40 PM . Nov 13, 2023 3.1M Views Subscribe !

For the full history of Coyote vs. Acme, be sure to check out Know Your Meme's encyclopedia entry for more information.

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