The SAG-AFTRA strike’s end is propelling another industry reset as the end of the year approaches, and with it comes another casualty at Warner Bros. This time, it’s a project produced by DC Studios’ James Gunn: WB Animation’s hybrid live action feature Coyote vs. Acme.
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The completed film starring John Cena (Peacemaker) and the Looney Tunes characters has been completely shelved as of today, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed. A statement attributed to a WB Motion Picture Group spokesperson in THR read: “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. We have tremendous respect for the filmmakers, casts, and crew, and are grateful for their contributions to the film.”
The creative team was at least given notice about the decision regarding Coyote vs. ACME. Director Dave Green shared the following statement on X: “For three years, I was lucky enough to make a movie about Wile E. Coyote, the most persistent, passionate, and resilient character of all time. I was surrounded by a brilliant team, who poured their souls into this project for years. We were all determined to honor the legacies of these historic characters and actually get them right. Along the ride, we were embraced by test audiences who rewarded us with fantastic scores. 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.”
The recently announced Looney Tunes animated feature The Day the Earth Blew Up remains on the schedule for 2024 as WB Animation plans to lean hard into animated theatrical fare. The slate also includes a number of Dr. Seuss adaptations, including a musical based on Oh the Places You Will Go! and a new Cat in the Hat project.
Still, it’s a wonder seeing a James Gunn-supported project like Coyote vs. Acme meet this fate, and we hope the axe doesn’t swing this way on his DC Studios plans. For his part, Cena had this to say about the situation:
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