Last week, filmmakers, critics and movie fans showed a rare, completely united front in castigating the move by Warner Bros. to lock another of its projects away in a vault, preferring to take a tax write-down instead of releasing it, as with Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt last year. The new movie was Coyote Vs. Acme, which blends CG Wile E. Coyote with live-action John Cena and more. Now, after the outcry, Puck brings word that executives are reportedly changing their minds and allowing the movie's producers to shop it elsewhere.
Earth To Echo's Dave Green directed the film, with Samy Birch on script duty (adapting a New Yorker article of the same title by Ian Frazier). James Gunn (who currently runs WB's DC Studios) worked on the story and is an executive producer.
The live-action/animated film follows Wile E. Coyote, who after ACME products fail him one too many times in his dogged pursuit of the Roadrunner, decides to hires a billboard lawyer to sue the ACME Corporation. The case pits Wile E. and his lawyer against the latter’s intimidating former boss (Cena), but a growing friendship between man and cartoon stokes their determination to win.
Coyote Vs. Acme was greenlit at the end of 2020 and shot in 2022, originally planned for the streaming service then called HBO Max, but a cinematic release date was later announced for July of this year. Yet it was quietly removed from the schedules and replaced by Barbie. No trailer for the film – which reportedly tested well — was ever released.
Now, as Puck has it, Warners film chiefs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, along with new animation head Bill Damaschke, are changing course following both the social media outcry and meetings with representatives of the director and stars. Though the studio had initially planned to pay all involved a streaming fee as if the film had hit Warners' streaming service Max, the plan now is to allow them to find the film a new home.
Which makes sense, since when the original announcement was made, reports were that the likes of Amazon had shown interest in picking up the film. With luck, we'll all get to see what its makers and those who have seen it describe as a fun family comedy.