I know I’m starting this report by talking about something from a different company, but there’s this scene from a Darkwing Duck comic that’s always stuck with me. Steelbeak has brainwashed Darkwing into turning evil and he’s now trying to commit acts of crime all over St. Canard, but Darkwing turns out to be so bad at it that he accidentally saves the day every single time. The specific panel I’m talking about is this one:
I thought this was massively implausible, even for a brainwashed talking duck. Why would anyone ENJOY being hated? Why would anyone WANT lynch mobs after them? …Well, as the trolls of the Internet would teach me years later, there really are some people out there who actively try to make people hate them, and they really do LOVE being hated. I’ll never understand why, but it is a thing.
Do you see why I’m bringing this up?
The only way I can explain Warner Bros CEO David Zaslav at this point is that he must be a massive troll who gets off on being hated. He even has the “Trollface” thing going on. Why else would you threaten to assassinate an anticipated movie, pull back when you receive negative reaction, give people false hope and then do it anyway?
According to a new expose by The Wrap, Coyote Vs Acme is very much on the verge of oblivion and all efforts to shop the film around to other studios have failed. This isn’t because of a lack of interest — quite the opposite. “Netflix, Amazon and Paramount screened the movie (which was received well) and submitted handsome offers,” The Wrap reports.
“Paramount even proposed a theatrical release component to their acquisition of Coyote vs. Acme that would allow for Warner Bros. to save face and, more importantly, let audiences see the movie the way it was meant to be experienced.”
But the asking price WB demanded in return was rather obscene. “Something in the ballpark of $75 – $80 million,” reports The Wrap. “The studio insisted on a price tag that would cover ‘negative cost plus’ — what the movie cost the studio and additional fees that Warner Bros. had incurred.” Upon hearing that demand, they all changed their minds.
And this might’ve been Zaslav’s plan all along. The report speculates, based on unnamed sources close to the company, that the tax writeoff was what was always planned and the price was deliberately overvalued as a stalling tactic — “running out the clock” as they say. Also, according the report, Zaslav has never watched the movie.
All we can add to it is this: if any filmmaker agrees to work with Warner Bros after this point, they are a massive fool. There is a very real possibility you could spend years on a project and have the CEO crumple it up and throw it into the trash upon delivery. It’s happened more than once now. Who in their right mind would sign up for that?