When Coyote vs. Acme became the latest project from Warner Bros. to be shelved rather than released, there was an uproar among the filmmakers and the fans who had been eagerly anticipating a movie with a lot of positive buzz. The noise was apparently significant enough that WB noticed, and so instead began offering Acme up to other studios if there was anybody interested in buying it. While there has yet to be a deal, there is a good possibility that the movie may eventually be released, and perhaps even in theaters.
A new report from Deadline states that Coyote vs. Acme has been shown to Netflix, Paramount, Amazon, Apple, and Sony. Of those, both Netflix and Paramount have made actual bids for the movie. Amazon is also reportedly considering a bid but hasn’t made one yet. While the numbers are unknown, Paramount’s bid may be the most attractive, as it would actually include a theatrical release for the movie.
As wild as it would be to see the Looney Tunes attached to a movie with a Paramount logo in front of it, that’s where we are. And it wouldn’t be the first time that a brand closely associated with WB ended up elsewhere. Earlier this year Amazon made a deal to bring an animated Batman series, Batman: Caped Crusader, to its streaming service after WB decided not to move forward with it.
According to reports, Coyote vs. Acme is complete and ready to be released whenever somebody actually does so. The movie cost $70 million according to Deadline, and WB is apparently asking for bids in excess of that number so that it can actually make money on this deal.
If Paramount is successful and Coyote vs. Acme not only comes out but does so theatrically, it might very well be worth whatever the studio pays. The controversy surrounding the movie's cancelation undoubtedly brought the movie to the attention of a lot of people who hadn’t been previously aware of it. There’s a good chance that the movie’s box office will be even stronger than it otherwise would have been if audiences go check it out if only to see what all the fuss has been about.
Of course, that would likely be the case if WB just released the movie itself right now. If it does sell the film to another studio, and that studio turns around and makes the movie a massive success, it will certainly make things awkward for WB. It may also cause audiences to once again campaign for something to be done about the axed Batgirl and Scoob! movies that the studio previously canceled.
It had initially been reported that WB would be taking substantial tax write-offs as a result of canceling the movies, but CEO David Zaslav recently claimed that wasn’t the case, so if WB isn’t getting anything for not releasing the movies, maybe it should just release them.