WB Mothballs Peacemaker Star John Cena’s New Movie as $30M Tax Write-Off Despite Insanely Positive Test Screening Scores

John Cena's Coyote vs. Acme has been shelved by Warner Bros as tax write-off.

WB Mothballs Peacemaker Star John Cena’s New Movie as $30M Tax Write-Off Despite Insanely Positive Test Screening Scores

SUMMARY

  • Warner Bros will no longer release John Cena's finished film 'Coyote vs. Acme'.
  • The studio shifts its focus on theatrical movies, hence axing projects that no longer fit their new direction.
  • Fans express rage over Warner Bros' decision to shelve Cena's movie.
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John Cena’s live-action animation hybrid movie Coyote vs. Acme will no longer see the light of day after Warner Bros axed the project from its list of releases. The film was completed in 2022, but the move has been decided after veteran animation executive Bill Damaschke took over Warner Animation Group.

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john cena
John Cena

The studio gets a $30 million tax write-off from shelving the project, which was initially greenlit by former head Jason Kilar as an HBO Max release. Now that the theater business is back, Warner Bros wants to focus more on theatrical movies.

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John Cena’s Coyote vs. Acme Gets Shelved By Warner Bros As Tax Write-Off

Director Dave Green lamented the cancelation of the project, stating how proud he was of the output and the cast he worked with, only for Warner Bros to make a disappointing decision. He said via Twitter/X:

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. I was surrounded by a brilliant team, who poured their souls into this project for years.”

The filmmaker revealed Coyote vs. Acme received positive results from test screenings, but the studio did not think it was worth the cost to release the movie. Green continued:

We were all determined to honor the legacies of these historic characters and actually get them right. Along the ride, we were embraced by test audiences who rewarded us with fantastic scores.”

Wile E. Coyote
Wile E. Coyote

A Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group spokesperson revealed in a statement that the studio is shifting its focus on theatrical films, which hints John Cena’s movie no longer fits their brand. The statement reads (via The Hollywood Reporter):

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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 director ended his message with a remark of dismay, but also with an indomitable feeling of confidence:

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.”

The sources claimed Warner Bros at least gave the production team an early notice of the decision.

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Fans Express Disappointment Over Cancellation Of John Cena’s Movie

Wile E. Coyote
Wile E. Coyote

Warner Bros is notoriously known for cancelling finished projects resulting in an outcry from fans. Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt are some of the projects the studio shelved as tax write-offs. Now, the people are enraged again with the fate of Coyote vs. Acme. Check out their tweets below:

Warner Bros. Pictures Animation plans to focus more on developing movies for the big screen. Starting 2026, they intend to release two animated films in theaters.

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Written by Ariane Cruz

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Ariane Cruz, Senior Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about the latest movies and series. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.