It sounds like Coyote Vs Acme might be heading to a rival studio after all – and we’ve got some very angry filmmakers to thank.
Yesterday, we reported that it appeared Coyote Vs Acme might be saved after all following a weekend of rotten PR for Warner Bros. Discovery, which announced it was canning the finished $70m film for a $30m tax refund last week.
Now, with confirmation coming from The Hollywood Reporter, it seems that info was right on the money – and it sounds like the industry’s creative community weren’t happy, instructing their agents to cancel meetings with the studio in the wake of the news.
But now that Warner Bros. Discovery have made something of an about turn, the filmmakers aren’t exactly rushing back, instead adopting what the Reporter describes as “a wait-and-see approach”. Presumably, they’re waiting to see if it sells, and if Warners still decide to scrap the film if it doesn’t.
It’s not hard to see the source of the frustration. “I don’t know how you see the movie and then go, ‘That couldn’t happen to me,'” says Brian Duffield, the director of this year’s streaming hit No One Will Save You.
According to the Reporter, Duffield in particular was spooked because Coyote Vs Acme seemed like such a slam-dunk. “[Dave Green, director] did everything that was asked of him: he delivered the film, which sources say cost $72 million, on budget. He hit the right test scores. He even moved away from his friends and family to London for 18 months to save the studio money on post-production costs”, they said.
This move seems to have spooked the creative community far more than the cancellation of Batgirl and Scoob! in August 2022. Where Batgirl in particular was described as “not releasable” by DC head Peter Safran at the time, Coyote Vs Acme proved both that a film’s quality was no assurance of its safety under the current studio heads, and that the first wave of cancellations wasn’t an isolated incident.
In short, Warner Bros. Discovery seem to be in a pretty sticky spot right now. We can’t say we feel all that sorry for them.