Coyote vs. Acme’s Fate Might Have Been Sealed by Real Judge Doom David Zaslav

Just like the bad guy out of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, real life cartoon villain David Zaslav has revealed his nefarious plot: based on a damning investigative report from the Wrap, it seems the Warner Bros. head honcho planned to delete Coyote vs. Acme all along. Apparently, he never even watched the movie.

Initially, there was hope that Coyote vs. Acme might have found alternate distribution. But as the investigation revealed, “Throughout the process, Warner Bros. refused to share specific details with the filmmakers about the proposed deals (and Warner Bros.’ rejection of those deals). Everything was captured through a hazy fog of secondhand phone calls and conversations. There were champions of the project, for sure, but they couldn’t force Warner Bros. to properly communicate with the filmmakers.” It appears the idea was to string the sale along but ultimately decline any counter-offers for the film directed by Dave Green (Earth to Echo) and written by Academy Award nominee Samy Burch (May December).

As the trade finds, while finances were a factor, “the reason for Coyote vs. Acme’s cancellation remains damnably unknowable—even to those who made the movie.” The final fate of the movie, the Wrap suggests, will likely be decided before the end of February; Warner Bros. Discovery has a fourth-quarter earnings call in two weeks, and “many on the film’s team feel that the studio will use the ending of the quarter to get the movie off the books for good.” io9 has reached out to Warner Bros. Discovery for comment, and will update this post if and when we hear back.

A number of filmmakers, pop culture commentators, and producers were able to see a cut of the film and have been very publicly supporting its viability for release—including Eric Bauza, who voices a number of Looney Tunes characters for the studio’s legacy franchise. Actor Paul Scheer is another; speaking to the Wrap, he explained, “What was so exciting was that it felt like the film captured the voice of the Looney Tunes that we love in a way none of the other feature versions have ever done.”

Filmmaker Chris Miller (Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse) took to X to express how decisions like this really affect the trust the artistic community has with studios: “The outrage is because teams of people put their hearts & souls & years of thought & passion into making films with the understanding that it will have an opportunity to be seen by the world & the idea that all that work could just disappear feels innately like an injustice.”

Read more social media reactions from Miller, Bauza, and others, including Scott Pilgrim Takes Off showrunner BenDavid Grabinski—all pushing to #ReleaseCoyoteVsAcme.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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