A little over a year ago, Warner Bros. Pictures shook the entire film industry by taking its already finished shooting and in post-production $90 million “Batgirl” film and effectively vaulting it.

That film, along with the animated “Scoob!: Holiday Haunt,” will never be released by the studio which opted instead to take a tax break on them. It marked the start of a wave of austerity measures across various film studios and networks late last year with several projects suffering similar fates.

Now, they’re doing it again as THR reports that Warner Bros. Pictures is no longer planning to release the finished $70 million-budgeted live-action/CG animation hybrid feature “Coyote Vs. Acme”.

As a result of the move, Warners has reportedly already taken an estimated $30 million write-down which was applied to the prior business quarter.

Veteran animation executive Bill Damaschke took over Warner Animation Group earlier this year with that division going in a ‘new direction’ according to a WB Motion Picture Group spokesperson:

“With the re-launch of Warner Bros. Pictures Animation in June, the studio has shifted its global strategy to focus on theatrical releases. With this new direction, we have made the difficult decision not to move forward with Coyote vs Acme. We have tremendous respect for the filmmakers, casts, and crew, and are grateful for their contributions to the film.”

The project sees Looney Tunes character Wile E. Coyote hiring an unlucky human attorney to sue the ACME Corporation for defective product injury after so many of their products have backfired on him over the years in his pursuit of the Road Runner.

The project completed principal photography last year in New Mexico and starred Will Forte as the attorney and John Cena as the head of ACME.

DC Studios co-head James Gunn produced the feature whilst “Earth to Echo” helmer Dave Green directed from a script by Jon and Josh Silberman based on a 1990 New Yorker article.

What makes this doubly surprising is that according to Deadline the film is not only effectively completed, but test screenings have boasted excellent scores – “14 points above the family norm” and a score believed to be in the ‘high 90s’.

The outlet adds that Warners does not think it’s either worth the cost to release theatrically or to sell to other buyers, even as several such buyers (including Amazon) have reportedly expressed interest.

The post Warners Scraps “Coyote Vs. Acme” Release appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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