The animated Wile E. Coyote falls off a cliff holding a sign while the Road Runner looks on in 'Looney Tunes.'

Warner Bros. Drops Anvil on Wile E. Coyote Movie for $30 Million Tax Break

Sorry, John Cena.

Once again, Warner Bros. prioritizes corporate profits over its creative vision. This week the company announced it was shelving the completed Coyote vs. Acme film.

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Much like with the movie Batgirl, Warner Bros. appears to have decided it would be better for the company to take a $30 million tax break rather than release a movie. It is estimated that Coyote vs. Acme cost around $70 million to make. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie had already completed principal photography and visual effects. Warner Bros. intended to release the film to its streaming platform, HBO Max, yet chose to shelve it instead of letting audiences see it.

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. said in a statement, “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.” Although they claim to have “tremendous respect for the filmmakers, casts, and crew, and are grateful for their contributions to the film,” the company’s actions seem to speak otherwise.

Will Wile E. Coyote ever catch a break?

To be honest, Coyote vs. Acme sounded really cool. The story came from a 1990 article published in The New Yorker, “Coyote v. Acme” by Ian Frazier. It centers on the infamous Looney Tunes character Wile E. Coyote, who is sick of Acme products failing him when he tries to catch the Road Runner. So he takes the giant corporation to court. It stars John Cena, Will Forte, and Lana Condor with a mix of live-action and CGI animated characters. Some rumors around the internet said it would have been akin to the brilliant 1988 film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Dave Green, the director of Coyote vs. Acme, went on Twitter/X to make a statement about the cancellation. “I am beyond proud of the final product, and beyond devastated by WB’s decision. But in the spirit of Wile E. Coyote, resilience and persistence win the day.”

Movie companies like Warner Bros. are designed to make money. But what is the point of putting money and hundreds of people’s time into creating a film that never sees the light of day? Isn’t the whole point of creating entertaining movies to let audiences see them? Maybe it’s time Warner Bros. reevaluates what business they’re in.

(via, The Hollywood Reporter, featured image: Warner Bros.)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.