There's Still A Chance The COYOTE vs ACME Movie Can Be Saved But Time Is Running Out

There's Still A Chance The COYOTE vs ACME Movie Can Be Saved But Time Is Running Out There's Still A Chance The COYOTE vs ACME Movie Can Be Saved But Time Is Running Out

Warner Bros. Discovery announced plans to cancel the Coyote vs Acme live-action and animation hybrid film in late 2023, but reversed course in response to widespread outrage.

By MarkJulian - Feb 13, 2024 08:02 AM EST
Filed Under: Animated Features

According to a recent update on Warner Bros. Discovery's plans for Coyote vs Acme, after much deliberation, Warner Bros. Discovery and CEO David Zaslav are all but set on proceeding with plans to vault the film for tax write-off purposes.

Details on this controversial move first surfaced in November 2023 but just a few days after those first reports made their way online (and a ton of public backlash), Warner Bros. reversed course and decided to sell the film to other streaming outlets and studios.

However, it appears that the offers Warner Bros. Discovery is receiving for Coyote vs. Acme are insufficient to offset potential losses, and the studio is now likely to proceed with plans to write off the film for a tax break.

While some recent reports suggested that WBD was definitely moving forward with this plan, Deadline's most recent update notes that the decision isn't final yet, but time is running short. WBD and Zaslav have already shelved a $90 million Batgirl movie for tax reasons so there's definitely precedent.

The problem is that WBD spent about $70-$75M to produce the film but the offers they've received from Amazon, Apple, and a host of other potential suitors range from $30-$35M. 

Zaslav and WBD aren't looking to make a profit on the sale of the film but they want to sell it for the full cost of production ($70-$75M).

The Lego Movie director and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse writer Phil Lord recently chimed in on the situation via X/Twitter.

Former trade reporter turned online scooper Jeff Sneider also weighed in on the situation, providing a counterargument on his blog. Sneider wrote:

"...But this is a business. I know we all want to believe that the new Looney Tunes movie is high art, but it's not - it's a corporate product, one that everyone involved was paid handsomely to create. The performative outrage greeting WB's decision to shelve Coyote vs Amce is truly laughable. It's not David Zaslav's fault that the prior WB regime made the move for way too much money - so much that it left his hands tied. Why should he have to put up $30 to $40 million to market that $75 million movie in theaters if he doesn't think it can crack the $250 million or so it'll need to break even?"

Sneider's argument certainly makes a lot of fiscal sense. It's not like the filmmakers will not be compensated if the picture fails to make it to theaters or streaming. And, by all accounts, no one believes the picture will break even if it actually hits theaters, or that it would generate a slew of new subscriptions if released on Max.

Coyote vs Acme is a mix of animation and live-action, similar to Space Jam and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Along with the Coyote and Road Runner, the film was set to star Will Forte, John Cena and Lana Condor.

The plot centered on the Coyote suing the Acme corporation after years of failed products that prevented him from apprehending the Road Runner and sometimes getting seriously hurt in the process. Forte was set to play Wile E.'s lawyer, while Cena would have played Acme's CEO.  

Where do you stand on the Coyote vs Acme debate? Let us know in the comment section below.

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JobinJ - 2/13/2024, 8:20 AM
No one cares about this movie.
FinnishDude - 2/13/2024, 8:54 AM
@JobinJ - This will eventually happen to a movie you care about, if don't raise hell over it now.
DudeGuy - 2/13/2024, 8:59 AM
@FinnishDude - what’s your definition of “Raise Hell”? because what you think you’re doing by typing something in a comment section or standing outside a studio with a couple of buddies isn’t it.
JobinJ - 2/13/2024, 9:43 AM
@FinnishDude - you act like movies being made is some god given right. Lol.
FinnishDude - 2/13/2024, 2:20 PM
@JobinJ - The movie has been made. It's finished.

People are mad that some business guy who hasn't even seen it wants to delete forever.
JobinJ - 2/13/2024, 2:47 PM
@FinnishDude - there’s literally no way for you to know that. For all we know it’s terrible and they would lose money releasing it.
FinnishDude - 2/13/2024, 4:21 PM
@JobinJ -

Besides, the history is filled with successfull movies the executives had zero faith in. Nobody wanted to buy the filming rights to Back to the Future's script. Bob Iger wanted to pull the plug on Pirates of the Caribbean multiple times or turn it into a direct-to-dvd release. Heck, this very same studio shared production duties on The Joker movie, because they had very litte faith of it making profit, despite the tiny budget.

Do I think this movie was going to be on the same league as those? Probably not (well, maybe a league above The Joker). But, I'm not going to take some businessman's word for it being unreleasably bad.
bkmeijer1 - 2/13/2024, 8:26 AM
''no one believes the picture will break even if it actually hits theaters, or that it would generate a slew of new subscriptions''

Wouldn't you already know this before hand? It may be a corporate product or not, but even though a merger happened these prospects wouldn't change I think. Same goes for Batgirl.
lazlodaytona - 2/13/2024, 8:46 AM
@bkmeijer1 - do they really think kids wouldn't want to see this? Or parents would like to spend a chunk of money at the theater for their children just to get themselves a couple hours of peace...
DudeGuy - 2/13/2024, 9:01 AM
@lazlodaytona -Looney Tunes is a small fraction of what it used to be in popularity. So no, I highly doubt kids would be breaking the door down to see this.
lazlodaytona - 2/13/2024, 9:03 AM
@DudeGuy - I didn't realize that. Obviously, I haven't kept up with the IP
ObserverIO - 2/13/2024, 9:21 AM
@DudeGuy - Is this supposed to be for kids? For some reason I got the impression it was more adult-oriented.
bkmeijer1 - 2/13/2024, 9:53 AM
@lazlodaytona @ObserverIO - I was kinda under the impression this was made for the same audience as the Chip N Dale movie was for. Even so, think this could've put LT on the map again
GhostDog - 2/13/2024, 8:30 AM
Gunn better watch himself with the DCU....

Zaslav moves slimy
Batmangina - 2/13/2024, 8:34 AM
Hey! I have an idea that would be a great 11 minute cartoon - let's spend $50M and add 78 minutes of poop!

ObserverIO - 2/13/2024, 8:41 AM
Vault Joker 2 instead. At least this won't affect the upcoming DCU slate or be affected by it.
lazlodaytona - 2/13/2024, 8:51 AM
@ObserverIO - Are you insane?! That R-rated, elseworld's flick made them over a billion dollars and it was mostly well received. WB definitely ain't giving up on a sequel for JOKER. Especially since Phoenix is known to be a top-notch actor and Ga-Ga not only can hold her own, but the sheer number of women who will want to see her, and with Harley's current popularity, to bring in an audience that normally wouldn't see a comic book film.
ObserverIO - 2/13/2024, 9:13 AM
@lazlodaytona - True, they def got the teenage girl audience for this new one. And even if it doesn't ruin the first one in everybody's eyes, it'll still make money.
lazlodaytona - 2/13/2024, 8:44 AM
I'm sure them still getting paid for all of their work on this is appreciated but I hope Zaslav and company aren't feeling like they are doing the people who created this film a favor.

Even getting paid, as an artist it still sucks not being able to show everyone your work; especially due to mismanagement from above.
URLMae - 2/13/2024, 8:56 AM
Just release it!!!!
if sony is brave enough to release madame web (which by the way, i just saw it yerterday in a premier and it’s even worse than morbious) this could no be anything worst than that, a Coyote film with no marketing but some social media spots and 1 trailer and it could hit more than $150 millions globally
Forthas - 2/13/2024, 9:04 AM
" they can more easily merge with one of the other biggest movie studios in the world?"

THIS is the real story here! Warner Brothers need to be sold and a competent team needs to take over the DCU. My understanding is that in April, a deal can be made to sell WBD. I cannot wait!!!!
Scarilian - 2/13/2024, 9:05 AM
@Forthas -
Lets be realistic here. If Warner Bros is sold then Disney will find a way to acquire it, at which point they'll be so stretched trying to leech off the superhero genre that it'd destroy any remaining interest the genre has.
bkmeijer1 - 2/13/2024, 9:55 AM
@Scarilian - I wouldn't be surprised if Universal ends up being WB. There's a lot of IP there that I can think can make Universal parks bigger than Disney's
Forthas - 2/13/2024, 11:05 AM
@Scarilian - My money is on Universal getting WB before Disney. Ideally the best thing would have been for a clean merger of WB and Paramount which would be easier to clear regulatory hurdles. The only problem is that with WB as the bigger company Zaslav would head the merged company which I am 100% opposed to. If I had to choose between the two options better Universal takes WBD than Zaslav continue his reign of terror!
AmazingFILMporg - 2/13/2024, 9:15 AM
Gunn is a corporate hack!!!

He wrote on this film and isn't saying anything?

bobevanz - 2/13/2024, 9:59 AM
@AmazingFILMporg - this is what you get out of this article?
AmazingFILMporg - 2/13/2024, 10:11 AM
@bobevanz -


If the head of DC publicly speaks out for creatives zaslav will listen🦸
eagc1995 - 2/13/2024, 10:27 AM
@AmazingFILMporg - I mean he works for WBD, its likely saying a word on it could result in him being kicked out.
NinnesMBC - 2/14/2024, 12:21 AM
Jeff Sneider sure has a lot of nerve to call the outrage as "performative" by essentially white knight-ing the big ass corporation that doesn't need it to begin with. Since he's never spent time nor sweat in something of so much labour like making a film of course he will diminish the whole situation. I'd say he's also being handsomely paid to say this.

I stand with the people behind this film so their creative vision can make it to the public (even if some of them so appear to not care little about it *coughJamesGunncough* but I wanna thank him for this term: "corporate product", that's what I am gonna use to explain why I won't be supporting anything from Zaslav's cashcow that is now called the DCU.

I hope stuff like Dune succeeds, the rest? Soulless and money-grabbing corporate product that I have no interest in consuming.

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