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Warner Bros. Won’t Scrap ‘Coyote Vs. Acme’ For Tax Write-Off After Extreme Backlash From Hollywood

  Days after  Warner Bros . announced they’d be permanently shelving “ Coyote vs. Acme ” as a tax write-off, the studio did an about-face an...

 Days after Warner Bros. announced they’d be permanently shelving “Coyote vs. Acme” as a tax write-off, the studio did an about-face and is now looking for a buyer after facing backlash in the industry.

The film, which is already complete, is based on a humor piece published in The New Yorker in 1990. It combines live-action and animation to follow the character Wile E. Coyote as he sues the Acme Corporation from the classic “Looney Tunes” cartoons. He blames the corporation for all his failed attempts trying to catch his nemesis, the Road Runner.

“Coyote vs. Acme” is produced and co-written by James Gunn and stars John Cena as Acme’s CEO and Will Forte as Wile E. Coyote’s lawyer.

Warner Bros. was criticized for pulling similar moves with “Batgirl” and “Scoob! Holiday Haunt” when it scrapped almost finished projects in favor of giant tax write-offs in 2022. The difference here was that “Coyote vs. Acme” is fully completed and tested well with audiences, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The studio changed course when a group of Hollywood directors and showrunners banded together to support the film. 

The film’s director Dave Green initially expressed his frustration with the studio’s decision. 

“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,” he wrote. “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.”


Others came to the movie’s defense as well.

“COYOTE V ACME is a great movie,” writer-director BenDavid Grabinski posted on X. “The best of its kind since [Who Framed] ROGER RABBIT … The leads are super likable. It’s beautifully shot. The animation is great. The ending makes everyone f***ing cry. I thought the goal of this business was to make hit movies?”

“I think it’s absolute bullsh** that a studio can and does shelve the creative work of hundreds of people for a f**ing tax break,” “Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson wrote of the controversy.

“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,” director Brian Duffield agreed.

Duffield told THR, “I don’t know how you see the movie and then go, ‘That couldn’t happen to me.’” He didn’t work on the project himself, but said he is friends with Green and gave him notes.

Duffield told the outlet that Green stayed on budget, spending $72 million making the film, and even moved to London for 18 months to save the studio money on post-production costs.

“I think Coyote is really similar to Barbie in a lot of ways,” Duffield told the outlet. “They are playing with iconography in a really fun, popcorn kind of way.”

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