A recent update on the ongoing saga of Warner Bros. Discovery's plans for Coyote vs Acme stated that after much back-and-forth, Warner Bros. Discovery and CEO David Zaslav would be moving forward with plans to vault the film for tax write-off purposes.
Details on this controversial move first surfaced in November 2023 but just a few days after those first reports made their way online (and a ton of public backlash), Warner Bros. reversed course and decided to sell the film to other streaming outlets and studios.
However, it seems the offers that Warner Bros. Discovery is receiving for Coyote vs Acme are not enough to offset potential losses and the studio is now likely to move forward with plans to write-off the movie for a tax cut.
While a few of these latest reports stated that WBD was definitely moving forward with this plan, the latest update from Deadline states that the decision isn't final yet, although time is running out. Of course,this wouldn't be the first time that WBD and Zaslav vaulted a movie for tax write-off purposes, having recently shelved a $90M Batgirl movie.
The problem is that WBD spent about $70-$75M to produce the film but the offers they've received from Amazon, Apple, and a host of other potential suitors range from $30-$35M.
Zaslav and WBD aren't looking to make a profit on the sale of the film but they want to sell it for the full cost of production ($70-$75M).
The Lego Movie director and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse writer Phil Lord recently chimed in on the situation via X/Twitter.
Former trade reporter turned online scooper Jeff Sneider also weighed in on the situation, providing a counterargument on his blog. Sneider wrote:
"...But this is a business. I know we all want to believe that the new Looney Tunes movie is high art, but it's not - it's a corporate product, one that everyone involved was paid handsomely to create. The performative outrage greeting WB's decision to shelve Coyote vs Amce is truly laughable. It's not David Zaslav's fault that the prior WB regime made the move for way too much money - so much that it left his hands tied. Why should he have to put up $30 to $40 million to market that $75 million movie in theaters if he doesn't think it can crack the $250 million or so it'll need to break even?"
From a logical standpoint, Sneider's making a lot of sense. It's not like the folks who created the film won't get paid if it doesn't hit theaters. And by all accounts, no one thinks the film will break even if it hits theaters or that it will drive a ton of new subscriptions if released on Max.
Coyote vs Acme is a mix of animation and live-action, similar to Space Jam and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Along with the Coyote and Road Runner, the film was set to star Will Forte, John Cena and Lana Condor.
The plot centered on the Coyote suing the Acme corporation after years of failed products that prevented him from apprehending the Road Runner and sometimes getting seriously hurt in the process. Forte was set to play Wile E.'s lawyer, while Cena would have played Acme's CEO.
Where do you stand on the Coyote vs Acme debate? Let us know in the comment section below.