Warner Bros. Discovery cans film “Coyote vs. Acme” for a tax write-off

Here we go again. The third time’s the charm… for worse, not better.

“Coyote vs. Acme”, a live-action-animated hybrid film that featured superstar actor and wrestler John Cena and the beloved Looney Tunes insanity many of us have come to love, has been shelved and will never be released. Even though it was reportedly nearly complete!

It’s the third nearly done film that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has shelved for financial reasons. The film, according to The Hollywood Reporter, cost around 72 million dollars to make and will result in a 30 million dollar tax write-off.

Previous films “Batgirl” and “Scoob! Holiday Haunt” were shelved for the same reasons last year as part of a larger tax write-off to cut billions of dollars in costs.

The film, which was originally planned for release in July this year, was inspired by a 1990 humor article named the name, which had Wile E. Coyote file a lawsuit against the Acme Company for all those injuries and suffering he received over the decades while chasing the infamous Road Runner.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group said the following:

“With the re-launch of Warner Bros. Pictures Animation in June, the studio has shifted its global strategy to focus on theatrical releases… With this new direction, we have made the difficult decision not to move forward with Coyote vs Acme.”

Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group spokesperson

My take? This continues to be a massive problem where films close to completion, with the heart and soul of many different people spanning years, just end up never being released for monetary reasons. But not because the company couldn’t afford it, rather they just decided to further cut costs and determined not enough money would ever be made out of releasing it or providing the film to other streaming services. It’s shameful and all it does is upset people further. I never seem to see people support these sorts of decisions.

This sort of decision seems to directly contradict what Zaslav himself said earlier in a recent earnings call, saying the company has to bulk up its content with what he called “underused” franchises. I guess a Looney Tunes hybrid film, that apparently from what I’ve read received good testing scores by audiences, even though that property seems to never get the spotlight it deserves. As a nearly finished film involving a beloved piece of intellectual property, it makes you wonder what Zaslav means when he says “underused” franchises.

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