'Coyote vs. Acme': Why Hollywood revolted against Warner Bros. over a Looney Tunes movie

Filmmakers are rallying behind "Coyote vs. Acme," the little Looney Tunes movie that could survive a death sentence from Warner Bros. Discovery.

Warner Bros. Discovery has come under fire in recent weeks for scrapping "Coyote vs. Acme," which had already been completed and screened for test audiences.

Amid mounting scrutiny from figures in the entertainment industry and beyond, the studio giant later reversed its decision to bury the film, permitting director Dave Green to shop the title around to other distributors, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Since Warner Bros. and Discovery merged last year, the mega-corporation and its president, David Zaslav, have sparked pushback in the creative communty for killing movies after they've been made — allegedly in favor of tax writeoffs.

Read more: Warner Bros. Discovery cuts high-profile diversity leader Karen Horne

After witnessing the brutal demises of other completed Warner Bros. projects (rest in peace, "Batgirl" and "Scoob! Holiday Haunt"), it appears the fall of "Coyote vs. Acme" was the last straw for filmmakers — several of whom reportedly canceled meetings with the studio in protest.

"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," Green said last week in a statement.

"I was surrounded by a brilliant team, who poured their souls into this project for years. ... I am beyond proud of the final product, and beyond devastated by WB's decision. But in the spirit of Wile E. Coyote, resilience and persistence win the day."

Read more: Warner Bros. Discovery's Zaslav takes conciliatory tone on striking actors and writers

Now that "Coyote vs. Acme" has been revived, members of the filmmaking community have continued to support the feature on social media in hopes that it will find a new home.

"I saw COYOTE VS ACME and it’s delightful," filmmaker Christopher Miller — known for the animated "Spider-Verse" and "Lego" movies — wrote Wednesday on X. "Funny, charming, good physical comedy timing, with a surprising amount of heart. I hope several studios go after it so the world can see all the good work people did."

"I can confirm!" echoed "Blindspotting" and "One Night in Miami" producer Keith Calder. "Dave Green and team have made a damn good movie. A movie good enough to make me come back to Twitter to champion it."

"COYOTE VS ACME rules so hard, a million jokes a minute, real filmmaking, lovable characters, a movie for legit all ages," wrote "Skull Island" creator and producer Brian Duffield. "If this isn’t the goal of studios then maybe we should rethink studios."

But wait — that's not all, folks.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) has urged the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Warner Bros. Discovery for shelving completed films in favor of tax writeoffs. The congressman called Warner Bros. Discovery out Monday on social media amid the uproar over "Coyote vs. Acme."

Read more: David Zaslav defends Warner Bros. Discovery cuts: 'We did not get rid of any show that was helping us'

"The @WBD tactic of scrapping fully made films for tax breaks is predatory and anti-competitive," Castro wrote on X.

"As the Justice Department and [Federal Trade Commission] revise their antitrust guidelines they should review this conduct. As someone remarked, it’s like burning down a building for the insurance money."

Reps for Warner Bros. Discovery didn't respond to The Times' request for comment.

Read more: As streaming services get frugal, programming changes throw Hollywood creators for a loop

This isn't the first time Castro has gone after Warner Bros. Discovery, which has undergone mass layoffs and a sweeping creative overhaul since Warner Bros. and Discovery officially merged last year under Zaslav's leadership.

The politician has written multiple letters to the Justice Department expressing his concerns about the union of the two companies, contending that the merger promotes "anticompetitive practices that reduce consumer choice and harm workers in affected labor markets."

In November 2022, Zaslav doubled down on his corporate strategy and insisted that he is motivated by "more than just a dollar tally" of what the company has "saved on an expense line" when getting rid of staff members, movies and TV shows.

“It is more than just a number," he told analysts at the time.

"We are fundamentally rethinking and reimagining how this organization is structured. And we are empowering our business unit leadership to transform their organizations with an owner's mindset and a view on quality and accountability.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.