Coyote vs. Acme

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This article is about the film. For the magazine article of the same name, see Coyote v. Acme.
Coyote vs. Acme
Production company Warner Bros. Pictures Animation
Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures
Starring John Cena
Will Forte
Lana Condor
Eric Bauza
Executive producer(s) Sam Register
Producer(s) James Gunn
Chris DeFaria
Story by Sammy Burch
Screenplay by Sammy Burch
James Gunn
Director(s) Dave Green

Coyote vs. Acme is an unreleased American live-action/animated film based off the character of Wile E. Coyote and Acme from the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies theatrical shorts, and the 1990 magazine article of the same name originally published in The New Yorker by Ian Fraizer. Produced by Warner Bros. Pictures Animation, the film was directed by Dave Green, from a screenplay written by Samy Burch, and a story by Burch, James Gunn (who also served as a producer), and Jeremy Slater. The film's cast was John Cena, Will Forte, Lana Condor, with voices from Eric Bauza.

The film's plot would have focused on Wile E. Coyote as he takes the Acme corporation to court, following various failed attempts to catch the Road Runner.

Warner Bros. Discovery initially shelved the film in November 2023 so it could obtain a $30 million tax write-down, making it the third film to be shelved by the company after Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt. However, public backlash led them to reverse the decision the same month, allowing the filmmakers to shop the film to other distributors. On February 2024, WBD again considered shelving the film and claiming it as a tax loss. The film's fate is currently unclear, although discussions on its potential release were reportedly still ongoing.








First aborted cancellation

Coyote vs. Acme was to be theatrically released in the United States on July 21, 2023. Warner Bros. later removed the film from its planned release schedule, and instead replaced the slot with Barbie.

On November 9, 2023, the film was shelved and would not be released due to a $30 million tax write-down.[1] It was the third Warner Bros. film under Warner Bros. Discovery management to recieve this fate after Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt. The crew was not informed of the decision until after the film was completed, and it recieved backlash from the filmmakers, animation outlets, and talent representatives.[2] As a result, many online users began to use the hashtag #ReleaseCoyoteVsAcme as a grassroots campaign to give the film a release.[3]

Following the criticism of its initial shelving, Puck reported that the studio reversed their decision on November 13, and allowed the filmmakers to shop the film to other distributors.[4] As reported by Deadline Hollywood, Amazon MGM Studios, Apple Studios, and Netflix were interested in buying the distribution rights to the film.[5] Later, the film had been reportedly screened for more studios including Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures. While Netflix and Paramount had made bids, with the latter including a theatrical component; Amazon was still interested despite making no formal bids; and Sony and Apple were not planning to make bids.[6]

Possible final cancellation

On February 9, 2024, Warner Bros. rejected the bids from Netflix, Amazon MGM Studios and Paramount Pictures. Warner Bros. wanted $75–$80 million to sell the film, but no distributors matched their price, and the studio rejected counter bids. Warner Bros. is considering to shelve and delete the film (which had been in a state of limbo at the time) and claim it to another tax loss.[7][8][9] Following its fourth earnings call on February 23, 2024, Warner Bros. took a $115 tax write-down while the film's fate became unclear.[3]

On March 10, 2024, during the red carpet of the 96th Academy Awards, screenwriter Sammy Birch confirmed that negotiations with other distributors are still ongoing. She stated, "We hope that it will somehow find its home and not end up stuck in a vault for the rest of time. That would be a great resolution."[10]


As with the previous shelving, it was met with online critcism. The hashtag #ReleaseCoyoteVsAcme, along with other hashtags relating to it, started trending on February 9, 2024, and continued to trend for the following weeks.[7]

At the 51st Annie Awards, Eric Bauza responsed in his hosting speech with an improvised exchange with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, and stating in his Daffy voice, "I hate to be political, but release Coyote vs. Acme!"[11] Bauza further wrote on a Twitter post on Febuary 23, stating, "The fight to release 'Coyote Vs ACME' goes far beyond saving a great movie. We are trying to preserve the integrity & importance of these icon legacy characters, while protecting the creative process of storytelling all together."[3]

On February 29, Will Forte released a statement after seeing the final cut of the film, stating, "To the Cast and Crew of Coyote Vs Acme — I know that a lot of you haven’t gotten a chance to see our movie. And sadly, it’s looking like you never will. When I first heard that our movie was getting ‘deleted,’ I hadn’t seen it yet. So I was thinking what everyone else must have been thinking: this thing must be a hunk of junk. But then I saw it. And it’s incredible."[12]





  1. D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 9, 2023). "Coyote Vs. Acme: Finished Live/Action Animated Pic Shelved Completely By Warner Bros As Studio Takes $30M Tax Write-off". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  2. Roundtree, Cheyenne (November 10, 2023). "Coyote vs. Acme Crew Were Blindsided by Warner Bros. Killing Movie". Rolling Stones. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Couch, Aaron (February 23, 2024).As ‘Coyote vs. Acme’ Hangs in the Balance, Warner Bros. Discovery Takes $115M Write-Down on Mystery Projects. Hollywood Reporter.
  4. Belloni, Matthew (November 13, 2023). Warners Reverses Course in Coyote vs. Acme Fight". Puck. Archived from the original on November 13, 2023.
  5. D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 13, 2023). "Coyote Vs. Acme: Warner Bros Setting Up Screenings For Streamers Of Axed Looney Tunes Film; Amazon A Prime Candidate – The Dish". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 13, 2023.
  6. D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 8, 2023). "Coyote Vs. Acme: Paramount Circling; Amazon Still Possible Contender – The Dish". Deadline Hollywood.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Taylor, Drew (February 9), 2024."The Final Days of 'Coyote vs. Acme': Offers, Rejections and a Roadrunner Race Against Time | Exclusive". TheWrap. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  8. Mary Kate Carr (February 9, 2024). "Coyote Vs. Acme is probably getting scrapped anyway, in appalling movie news". AV Club. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  9. D'Alessandro, Anthony (Febuary 9, 2024). ‘Coyote Vs. Acme’: With Pic’s Fate In Limbo At Warners, Phil Lord Observes, “How Funny It Would Be For This To End With A Congressional Hearing”. Deadline.
  10. Perella, Vincent; Bergeson, Samantha (March 10, 2024). "'Coyote vs. Acme' Writer Samy Burch Says Film May Still Be Released: Conversations Are 'Ongoing,' but We'd Be 'Heartbroken' If It's Shelved". IndieWire. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  11. Dick, Jeremy (February 18, 2024). 'Release Coyote vs. Acme!': Looney Tunes Voice Actor Reacts to Shelved Film. CBR. Retrieved February 18, 2024.
  12. Hibberd, James (February 29, 2024). "Will Forte Sad After Finally Watching 'Coyote vs. Acme': "It's Incredible"". The Hollywood Reporter.