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Hollywood Director Blacklists Warner Bros. After Coyote Vs. Acme Drama

Warner Bros. is back on the cancellation train. One year after the live-action "Batgirl" film was unceremoniously shelved by the company among several other projects, the studio opted to kill John Cena's "Coyote vs. Acme" despite the movie almost being finished. While Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is now allowing the filmmakers to shop the flick to other studios, the public backlash on its original decision has been immense. In fact, the move even prompted one major Hollywood director to cut ties with the company completely.

Director Brian Duffield, best known for his work on hit horror films like 2020's "Spontaneous" and 2022's "No One Will Save You," revealed on X (formerly Twitter) that he has washed his hands of Warner Bros. due to the company's perceived lack of support of filmmakers. "I've already told my reps I won't engage with Warners, so that's at least a $300m loss for them right there," the creative tweeted in response to a post criticizing the company.

While Duffield has not previously worked with Warner Bros. on any of his major projects, he is a frequent collaborator with other major studios like Universal Pictures, 20th Century Studios, and Paramount Pictures. That said, it seems that fans of the director shouldn't expect to see his name pop up in any future Warner Bros. projects.

Brian Duffield is a big fan of Coyote vs. Acme

While the situation regarding Warner Bros. and its cancellation of "Coyote vs. Acme" has outraged a large swath of Hollywood, the incident hits particularly close to home for Brian Duffield. Not only is the esteemed horror director friends with "Coyote vs. Acme" director Dave Green, but he had actually seen the film and offered notes on it, per an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I think 'Coyote' is really similar to 'Barbie' in a lot of ways," Duffield said. "They are playing with iconography in a really fun, popcorn kind of way."

When "Batgirl" was canceled by Warner Bros., some sources attributed it to the film not meeting the studio's standard of quality. By contrast, Duffield noted that "Acme vs. Coyote" had no reason to be canceled, as it had stuck close to its allocated budget and had tested well with audiences. With the reported quality of "Coyote vs. Acme" not being enough to save it from the chopping block, Duffield said that Warner Bros.' decision sets a dangerous precedent for filmmakers. "I don't know how you see the movie and then go, 'That couldn't happen to me,'" he explained.

In any case, Duffield has already made his decision to avoid Warner Bros. in the future, and it seems like the company's identity has been permanently tainted for the director. "The people working at Warner Bros. are anti-art and I hope multiple anvils drop on their heads," he tweeted.