Apparently, the studio wanted to use the comedy with John Cena as a tax write-off. But director Dave Green was not at all happy with this.
Warner Bros. Discovery has done it again; or rather, the studio wanted to do it again and throw a film production in the garbage can as a tax write-off. Just as happened last year to the DC production “Batgirl” and the animated film “Scoop! Holiday Haunt” (via The Hollywood Reporter). This time, the comparatively inexpensive 72 million US dollar film “Coyote vs. Acme”, a “Looney Tunes” film about the eternal feud between Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, was to be sacrificed. And all this to be able to write off just 30 million US dollars.
The difference between “Coyote vs. Acme” and “Batgirl” is that this hybrid film with live action and animation has already been shot in its entirety and has also gone through post-production. There are even said to have been test screenings at which the film was extremely well received by audiences. A large part of this is said to have been due to the well-placed cast including John Cena, Lana Condor, Will Forte, P.J. Byrne and Nancy Linehan Charles.
The shock of this latest decision was particularly profound for Hollywood’s creative heads, as Warner was able to secure tax deductions for “Batgirl” and “Scoop! Holiday Haunt” last year, Warner had communicated the tax write-off as a one-off. The fact that an attempt is now apparently being made in secret to repeat this disrespectful action towards the film team has upset film-makers in Hollywood who had already seen the film. For example, BenDavid Grabinski, showrunner of the upcoming Netflix animated series “Scott Filgrim takes off”:
“‘Coyote vs. Acme’ is a great movie. The best of its kind since ‘Foul Play with Roger Rabbit’! It’s commercial, it was well received in tests. The stars are super likeable. It’s beautifully shot. The animation is great. The ending makes everyone cry. I thought the goal of this business was to make successful movies?”
Screenwriter Gary Whitta (“The Book of Eli”) couldn’t believe it either:
“I can’t get my head around it. By all accounts, ‘Coyote vs. Amce’ is great. It’s based on one of the crown jewels of Warner Bros. Fantastic premise. John Cena. Co-written and co-produced by James Gunn. There hasn’t been anything like it since ‘Foul Play with Roger Rabbit’. And they just threw it away.”
That’s right, the film by director Dave Green (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles“) was written by James Gunn together with Jeremy Slater (“Moon Knight“) and Samy Burch (“The Hunger Games“). Gunn is, after all, CEO and co-chairman of DC Studios together with Peter Safran, so he holds a high and responsible position within Warner. And yet, the studio has thrown the movie in the garbage can. First of all, an animated movie! We have some tips for you in the video.
“Coyote vs. Acme”: filmmakers save the comedy from the end
While the film teams for “Batgirl” and “Scoop! Haunted Holiday”, the film teams’ hands were probably tied due to the uniqueness of this project – and they may simply have been too shocked – this time Hollywood filmmakers are said to have mobilized and taken action against this decision. They are said to have canceled meetings with Warner executives in protest. Their rebellion has paid off: Warner has reversed its decision and is instead offering director Green the opportunity to sell “Coyote vs. Acme” to another studio or a streaming service.
So it will be interesting to see who takes the deal. Basically, the whole thing is crying out for a streaming premiere on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.