Texas politician Joaquin Castro has publicly criticized Warner Bros Discovery for abandoning the $70M Coyote vs. Acme film and writing it off for $30M. He calls the move “predatory and anti-competitive” and is pushing for the Justice Department and FTC to review the conduct.
It was previously reported that Warner Bros Discovery was reconsidering its decision to cancel the film after facing backlash from the creative community and composer Steven Price, with Amazon Prime, Apple, and Netflix showing interest in acquiring it.
While Warner Bros had no statement in response to Castro’s criticism, sources have indicated that the decision to axe the film was not CEO David Zaslav’s doing, but rather that of Motion Picture Bosses Michael De Luca, Pam Abdy, and animation head Bill Damaschke.
The WBD administration appears to be focused on cost-cutting, following the successful box office performance of Barbie, and is hesitant to greenlight projects that may not yield substantial returns. This financial approach seems to be affecting various projects, including the prospect of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot heading directly to streaming.
In light of these developments, it’s remarkable that producers and executives at Warner Bros are concerned about the impact of this decision on the studio’s reputation and ability to attract talent and filmmakers.
This criticism of Warner Bros Discovery is not new, as back in April, Castro and other Democratic lawmakers asked the Justice Department to investigate the company following the Batgirl cancellation, citing concerns about anticompetitive practices and their impact on workers and consumers.