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According to Puck, Warner Bros. film chiefs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy and Warner Bros. Animation head Bill Damaschke made the decision to potentially let Coyote vs. Acme live on elsewhere. Warner Bros. Discovery reportedly agreed to pay the Coyote vs. Acme directors and stars a streaming bonus, despite the film being shelved. However, all parties involved apparently agreed to try and get the movie released in some fashion.
The initial decision to shelve the movie was apparently due to a corporate policy decreeing that big budget movies should not go directly to the Max streaming service. This directive previously saw Warner Bros. Discovery shelve a Scoob! sequel and a Batgirl solo movie. Warner Bros. Discovery apparently believed none of these movies could be a hit in theaters.
How Coyote vs. Acme May Hurt Warner Bros. Discovery
Still, the new decision to shop Coyote vs. Acme to another distributor could pose problems for Warner Bros. Discovery down the road. If the film is released in theaters and becomes a blockbuster, it will call into question the instincts of the executives who wanted to shelve it. Even if it is sold to a streaming service, it could cost the studio more in profits than whatever it is paid.
A larger problem is the perceived public relations problems between Warner Bros. Discovery and the creative community. Multiple filmmakers expressed frustration following the original news that Coyote vs. Acme would be shelved. They noted that they had no reason to work with Warner Bros. Discovery in the future, for fear that their work would never be seen. Given the studio’s heavy losses in the wake of the SAG-AFTRA strike, this may have prompted the decision to shop Coyote vs. Acme.