After months of striking, actors have just inked a deal with the studios, which means everybody can get back to making movies and TV shows. The studios have already delayed various projects because of the strikes, and they’ll hustle to restart productions. Against that backdrop, you’d think big studios like Warner Bros Discovery would want to make the most of productions that are already finished, like Coyote vs. Acme. But no, that’s not what’s happening.
From the same people who canceled Batgirl and Scoob Holiday Haunt! comes the cancellation of Coyote vs. Acme. The film tested great in screenings but was shelved so Warner could take another tax write-off.
This time, things are different, however. Warner had to deal with a backlash from creators, as people were getting worried about working with the studio. Nobody seems to be safe from these cancellations. As a result, Warner decided to shop the finished Coyote vs. Acme to various streamers. The list includes Amazon, Apple, and Netflix, one of which might save the production.
Amazon seems to be the front-runner, according to a new report from Deadline. Courtenay Valenti, the Head of Film, Streaming, and Theatrical for Amazon Studios and MGM, reportedly pushed hard for Coyote vs. Acme when she was at Warner.
Another advantage for Amazon is its close work with John Cena, one of the stars of Coyote vs. Acme. Cena has three upcoming movies on Amazon: Head of State, Ricky Stanicky, and Grand Death Lotto.
Per Deadline, it all boils down to the Head of Amazon Studios, Jen Salke, signing off on the deal. It’s unclear whether Warner would also let Amazon give Coyote vs. Acme a theatrical premiere. The report notes that Amazon has been known to purchase finished films for around $100 million and turn them into Prime Video events.
Amazon has purchased animated features before, including Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 4 and Cinderella.
Coyote vs. Acme cost Warner $70 million to make. The studio would have taken a $30 million tax write-off if the movie had ended up being canceled, per the report.
Apple and Netflix are also strong contenders for Coyote vs. Acme, especially given the response the movie received.
A report from The Hollywood Reporter detailing reactions from creators involved in making the movie says that Coyote vs. Acme had tested multiple times in the 90s. Other films that performed similarly in screening are Argo, the two Deadpool movies, and the first The Conjuring. There’s currently no trailer for the film, however.
No matter which streamer ends up buying the movie, I can’t wait to watch Coyote vs. Acme. Warner might be just as keen on selling the film and giving it a new life. Apparently, the studio is dealing with massive protests from creatives that should make Warner CEO David Zaslav & Co. think twice about canceling future movies for tax purposes.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that several filmmakers have canceled meetings with Warner since news broke that Coyote vs. Acme would be written off. Now that the film is heading to streaming, the filmmakers are taking a wait-and-see approach.