The planned John Cena Coyote Vs. Acme film has reportedly been uncancelled following an online backlash.
The film, which completed production last year, was confirmed last week to have been shelved by studio Warner Bros.
“With the re-launch of Warner Bros. Pictures Animation in June, the studio has shifted its global strategy to focus on theatrical releases,” a WB Motion Picture Group spokesperson said at the time (via The Hollywood Reporter).
“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.”
— Dave Green (@dgreenmachine) November 9, 2023
Director Dave Green shared his disappointment at the time, writing on X (formerly Twitter): “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. … Along the ride, we were embraced by test audiences who rewarded us with fantastic scores,” he added, saying he was “beyond proud” of the film and “beyond devastated” by the cancellation.
However, newsletter Puck reports that Warners has now decided to change course and give the filmmakers a chance to shop to film to other potential distributors.
Writer Matthew Belloni reports that the decision came after an online outcry over the movie being shelved, as well as discussions that took place between representatives for Green and the cast.
Coyote Vs. Acme, which is a combination of live-action and animation, is set to star Cena as the Acme Corporation CEO, and Saturday Night Live‘s Will Forte as Wile E. Coyote’s attorney. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before‘s Lana Condor is also part of the cast.
The movie was initially meant for streaming service HBO Max before it was confirmed for a theatrical release, set for last July. However, it was later removed from the release calendar, with Barbie replacing it.
The initial decision to shelve the film comes after Warner Bros. decided to axe DC film Batgirl last year, reported at the time for tax purposes.
New DC Studios co-CEO Peter Safran later said: “There were a lot of incredibly talented people in front of and behind the camera on that film. But that film was not releasable. It happens sometimes. That film was not releasable.”
However, star Leslie Grace said that the film she got to see was “incredible” and “definitely [had] potential for a good film”.
As well as Batgirl, Warner Bros. decided to shelve Scoob! sequel Holiday Haunt last year.
NME has reached out to Warner Bros. for comment on ‘Coyote Vs. Acme’.
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