The “Coyote vs. Acme” story reportedly just took serious turn.
After indefinitely shelving it for a $30 million tax write-off, and suffering a massive backlash both from filmmakers, the crew, the animation community and many online, it appears Warner Bros. Discovery has given the project a lifeline.
According to Puck News, Warners will reportedly now let the filmmakers shop the $70 million-budgeted live-action/CG animation hybrid feature to other potential distributors to acquire and release the title either theatrically or more likely direct-to-streaming.
That’s an about-face from the initial reports last week which indicated that despite expressions of interest from other buyers, Warner Bros. Discovery had no plans to potentially sell off the film.
The outlet’s sources indicate Warners film chiefs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy and new animation head Bill Damaschke were behind the new decision after the online outcry. They indicate there was also some “heated back-and-forth between the studio and reps for the director and stars”.
The site also indicates that despite the reports of stellar test screenings and great reviews on social media, it “actually didn’t test that well” and the studio was worried about another underperformance for the brand – especially after “Space Jam: A New Legacy” was rejected by critics and audiences.
In the movie, Looney Tunes character Wile E. Coyote hires an unlucky human attorney to sue the ACME Corporation for defective product injury after so many of their products have backfired on him over the years in his pursuit of the Road Runner.
The project completed principal photography last year in New Mexico and starred Will Forte as the attorney and John Cena as the head of ACME.
DC Studios co-head James Gunn produced the feature whilst “Earth to Echo” helmer Dave Green directed from a script by Jon and Josh Silberman based on a 1990 New Yorker article.