Wile E. Coyote Wile E. Coyote

Reversing an earlier decision to kill off the already finished live-action/animation hybrid feature Coyote vs. Acme, Warner Bros. Discovery will now allow its filmmakers to shop the feature to other distributors.

According to a report by Matthew Belloni at Puck, Warner Bros. Pictures Animation boss Bill Damaschke and Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group executives Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy met over the weekend to discuss the film’s fate after an outcry from artists, filmmakers, and fans, and heated correspondence between the studio and reps for the film’s director Dave Green and some of its stars.

WBD had agreed to pay the actors their streaming bonuses despite shelving the film, but that was apparently not enough to buy their silence on the matter. It’s almost as if artists want their work to be seen by the public.

Carsten Kurpanek, who spent two and a half years working as the film’s editor and relocated his family to the U.K. for 14 months for the job, certainly does. After finding out Coyote vs Acme had been shelved, he took to social media to share his disappointment, writing:

With this write-off, everything gets deleted, not just what you see on screen, but everything that it took to make the film. A released movie is just the tip of the iceberg of love and labor. The talent and commitment of the people who bring a project to life should not go unnoticed.

As artists, we pour ourselves into these projects. This film WAS me for the last two and a half years. It will always be a part of me. I even got a Wile E. Coyote tattoo on my right arm the week we delivered the movie before I left London – to remind me of the challenges we face while we pursue our goals. This erasure hurts on a personal level.

According to Deadline, WBD anticipated a $30 million write-off for shelving the film, which has a reported budget of $60-80 million. So, those hoping to see Coyote vs Acme may not want to get too excited just yet. As Belloni pointed out in his newsletter, finding a platform willing to buy a one-off Looney Tunes movie at a price that works for WBD is no small task.