Warner Bros. Abandons James Gunn's Next Movie

By Klein Felt Updated:
James Gunn

James Gunn's next movie has been abandoned by Warner Bros. (WB) as a part of cost-cutting measures at the studio. 

After a successful partnership working on DC hits like The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, Gunn and WB took their working relationship to the next level in 2022 by making the filmmaker the new co-CEO of DC Studios. 

This elevated role for the renowned creative will usher in a new era for the super-powered brand, further engraining him in the world of Warner. 

However, Gunn wasn't just working on DC projects for the studio, as the filmmaker was creatively involved with a few other titles at the studio. 

WB Shelves James Gunn Movie

Warner Bros. axed James Gunn's next movie at the studio despite it being already finished. 

According to Deadline, the upcoming Looney Tunes-adjacent film, Coyote vs. Acme (on which Gunn has a producing and story credit) has been abandoned by the studio in a cost-cutting move. 

The animated/live-action hybrid starring Wile E. Coyote was originally scheduled to come to theaters on July 21, 2023, but was pulled off the release schedule to make room for Greta Gerwig's Barbie

The James Gunn-produced comedy was expected to never see the light of day, with WB taking an estimated $30 million write-down on the project despite reported positive scores out of test screenings. 

On the film being axed, director Dave Green told Variety, "I am beyond proud of the final product, and beyond devastated by WB’s decision:"

"We were embraced by test audiences who rewarded us with fantastic scores. 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."

This would have marked the third major film to be put on ice by the studio since CEO David Zaslav took over in April 2022. The other two examples were the much-reported-upon Batgirl movie and the animated Scoob Holiday Haunt!

However, there may still be hope for Coyote vs. Acme following public outcry against the decision from filmmakers and fans alike, with reports now suggesting that the film is being shopped around to other studios.

Gunn has since responded to the situation via Instagram, sharing an image of Wile E. Coyote cooking with a simple heart emoji, possibly indicating that there is hope for the motion picture yet.

What's Next for James Gunn?

While James Gunn served as a producer (with a story credit as well) on Coyote vs. Acme, the filmmaker has got plenty cooking up at Warner. 

Given the months-long actors' strike in Hollywood has now come to an end, Gunn and co. can start work on their DC dreams in earnest. 

Fans will likely hear from the filmmaker soon, as his DCU kick-off film Superman: Legacy marches toward production. Casting announcements for that super-powered blockbuster will almost surely be on the way, with Gunn rounding out its cast. 

That movie is still far away, with a release still on track for July 2025 following reports of a small delay to the start of production. However, fans will not have to wait long for another Gunn-produced title. 

Warner Bros. and DC's Creature Commandos is set to debut sometime in 2024.

It may not be the Looney Tunes adventure audiences will miss out with the cancellation of Coyote vs. Acme, but it is looking to still be zany Gunn fun for those who give it a chance. 

James Gunn's next project will be Creature Commandos set to release in 2024. 

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.