Last fall, Warner Bros. Discovery seemed willing to entertain the idea of letting another studio release director Dave Green’s Coyote vs. Acme after initially announcing its plans to Batgirl (read: cancel in exchange for tax write-offs) the nearly completed film in early November. But according to a new report, the studio rejected multiple offers that could have led to the embattled project finally seeing the light of day, and the final decisions were made by executives who had not actually seen the finished movie.
According to EuroJournal, Amazon, Netflix, and Paramount were more than interested in securing the rights to debut Coyote vs. Acme for themselves after Warner Bros. changed stances and gave the filmmakers behind the live-action / CGI hybrid project a chance to shop it around to other studios. But while each of the studios reportedly submitted “handsome offers” for the rights — with Paramount’s even including plans for a theatrical release — they all fell short of the $75–$80 million figure WBD was apparently looking for.
Studios being bullish about the prices they’re willing to sell distribution rights off for is one thing, but WBD reportedly came out of the gate flat-out refusing to hear any counteroffers. And while the interested buyers’ offers were all, in part, informed by how well received Coyote vs. Acme was at internal screenings, none of the WBD executives — CEO / president David Zaslav, Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group co-chairs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, and Warner Bros. Pictures Animation president Bill Damaschke — who shot down those potential deals saw the final product for themselves.
There are any number of reasons Warner Bros. Discovery could trot out to explain why it repeatedly turned its nose up at the chance to make a bit of easy money by letting someone else put out a movie it wants nothing to do with. We’ll probably never know the truth, but it really just seems as if the studio’s leadership simply does not want it streaming, or in theaters, or really even to be a topic of conversation at this point. It’s…certainly a choice, and one the company seems intent on sticking to, but it’s hard to imagine this inspiring much confidence in the filmmakers still working with the studio.