I just found out today that they made a movie version of Ian Frazier’s classic 1990 New Yorker piece Coyote V. Acme, in which Wile E. Coyote files a product liability lawsuit against the Acme Company.
Mr. Coyote states that on December 13th he received of Defendant via parcel post one Acme Rocket Sled. The intention of Mr. Coyote was to use the Rocket Sled to aid him in pursuit of his prey. Upon receipt of the Rocket Sled Mr. Coyote removed it from its wooden shipping crate and, sighting his prey in the distance, activated the ignition. As Mr. Coyote gripped the handlebars, the Rocket Sled accelerated with such sudden and precipitate force as to stretch Mr. Coyote’s forelimbs to a length of fifty feet. Subsequently, the rest of Mr. Coyote’s body shot forward with a violent jolt, causing severe strain to his back and neck and placing him unexpectedly astride the Rocket Sled. Disappearing over the horizon at such speed as to leave a diminishing jet trail along its path, the Rocket Sled soon brought Mr. Coyote abreast of his prey. At that moment the animal he was pursuing veered sharply to the right. Mr. Coyote vigorously attempted to follow this maneuver but was unable to, due to poorly designed steering on the Rocket Sled and a faulty or nonexistent braking system. Shortly thereafter, the unchecked progress of the Rocket Sled brought it and Mr. Coyote into collision with the side of a mesa.
My excitement was tempered almost immediately by hearing that Warner Bros. has shelved the completed film (starring John Cena & Will Forte and produced by James Gunn) in order to take a $30 million tax write-off.
In another maneuver by the David Zaslav-run Warner Bros Discovery to kill movies, we hear on very good authority that Warner Bros will not be releasing the hybrid live-action/animated Coyote vs. Acme, with the conglom taking an estimated $30M write-down on the $70M production. We understand the write-down for the pic was applied to the recently reported Q3.
I was lucky to help write on this. [Dave Green] spent years directing a hilarious heartwarming film that tested well with every audience. If great stories with beloved characters and A-list stars are getting shelved for tax write offs, why are studios even in the movie business.
Release the film, you cowards!
Update: Warner has apparently agreed to let the filmmakers of Coyote vs. Acme find alternate distribution for the film.
Warners declined to comment, but a good source tells me the decision was made this weekend by Warners film chiefs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, along with new animation head Bill Damaschke, after the online outcry by filmmakers and the animation community, as well as some heated back-and-forth between the studio and reps for the director and stars. Warners had agreed to pay the top talent their streaming bonuses despite the film being scrapped, but obviously, everyone involved in this project wants it to be released by someone.
And here’s a behind-the-scenes reel of the filming…it kept getting taken down from Twitter & YT but has found a home on the Internet Archive.