While we knew that Coyote vs. Acme wasn’t going to make its intended slot on the 2023 movie release schedule, news came down recently that the John Cena-starring project was shelved. Much like Batgirl, this is a finished film that will never be shown to mass audiences, leaving many who were involved or had seen the film to air their grievances.
Now with composer Steven Price sharing an amazing “Meep Meep” song that would have been heard in the film, I’m even more upset that Warner Bros. has scrapped yet another promising project. To be fair, I was pretty damned annoyed that this had happened. Who would have thought that John Cena’s recent cryptic social media post was referencing this cancelled Looney Tunes delight, and not the recently ended SAG-AFTRA strike?
But now, with Maestro Price taking to Twitter and sharing this Tchaikovsky-inspired bit of pure beauty and lunacy, I think I’m at a boiling point. Take a listen for yourself:
Somehow 2021's Space Jam: A New Legacy was good enough to bring Wile E. Coyote back to the fold. But in the same breath, Coyote vs. Acme, a movie that's supposedly tested very well with test audiences, isn't worth releasing. Not even Al G. Rhythm would agree with that sort of flawed logic, especially when the movie inspired a musical gag as brilliant as this.
The last time I can remember Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” being used to such a hysterical extent is in The King’s Man during an amazing action sequence that almost involved Rasputin’s historically impressive anatomy. Admittedly, hearing that usually cannon-inclusive classical track with the Road Runner’s catchphrase peppered in throughout conjures a very different image, and one I wish I could now see.
Picture it: Wile E. Coyote is giving testimony, through flashbacks admissible and visible to the court, about how a line of ACME cannons backfired on him in spectacular fashion. A choir of Road Runners meep in unison as they go off, our Coyote friend trying to outrun them, but always just missing the mark. As the smoke clears, he huddles in fright just as one final group goes off to end the sequence in perfect comedic timing. That’s the impression I’ve been getting from everything I’ve heard about Coyote vs. Acme, and the more I learn, the angrier it makes me.
It wasn’t enough that Warner Bros. scrapped Batgirl as well as banished Scoob! Holiday Haunt, complete with a full score. Now the Looney Tunes are being personally attacked, despite the fact that the studio did decide to go ahead and announced The Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie for release on the 2024 movie schedule. The good news of another movie based on these beloved cartoons would normally be exciting news, but what’s to say this won’t be canceled as well?
Steven Price surely isn’t a stranger to this sort of weirdness. The Gravity composer is also a collaborator of director Edgar Wright’s, and as such was supposed to provide the music on the original version of Ant-Man that “didn’t work.” While this is an entirely different animal, and the release of Price’s entire score would be a collector’s dream, at least we got to hear these sweet meeps in honor of a movie that deserved so much more than it’s gotten.
I’m appalled at the scrapping of Coyote vs. Acme, especially since we’ve been teased about this project’s wonder since its 2018 announcement, which came after almost a decade of development hell on an “ACME Warehouse” project. Though it doesn’t look likely, I sincerely hope that there’s a way that this project, and all others that shared its fate, can be seen by the masses eventually. If Warner Bros. Discovery is truly as “open for business” as they say they are, then I hope they can realize just how crushing a mistake this is.