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SYFY WIRE Looney Tunes

Peacemaker's John Cena re-teaming with James Gunn to star in 'Coyote vs. Acme' Looney Tunes film

Watch out for falling anvils and tunnels painted onto the side of canyon walls.

By Josh Weiss
Wile E. Coyote John Cena YT GETTY

John Cena better start watching out for falling anvils. Come to think of it, he should also be wary of tunnels suspiciously painted onto canyon walls. That's a long-winded way of saying the breakout Peacemaker star's working relationship with Warner Bros. will continue to bear comedic fruit in the upcoming Looney Tunes-inspired Coyote vs. Acme film, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Wednesday.

First announced in 2018, the live-action/CG-animated project still has Dave Green (Earth to Echo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows) attached as director. Production is expected to kick off in New Mexico late next month, with James Gunn (the creator of the Peacemaker TV show) and Chris DeFaria (Tom and Jerry) on board as producers.

Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War) was also a producer at one point, but it seems he has since moved on to other endeavors. Samy Burch penned the most recent draft of the screenplay, which had previous creative input from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia veterans, Jon and Josh Silberman. The studio has set a release date of July 21, 2023 (via Deadline).

Based on the classic cartoon shorts, as well as a 1990 New Yorker article of the same name (yes, really), the movie finds the beleaguered — and usually silent — Wile E. Coyote taking the Acme Corporation to court over defective products that have not only failed to subdue the speedy Road Runner, but have also caused serious harm to the user. Now hungry for a big plate of justice, the Coyote convinces a down-on-his-luck attorney to take on the case, which thrusts the lawyer into a heated legal battle with his former boss and the story's main antagonist (played by Cena).

The faceless Acme Corp. has been lampooned by several live-action movies over the years, the most notable ones being Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Looney Tunes: Back in Action. Speaking of which, Coyote vs. Acme will join the growing pantheon of WB's other hybrid cinematic offerings: Space Jam, Back in Action, Tom and Jerry, and Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Today marked big wins for Cena and Gunn, who also closed a deal for a second season of Peacemaker on HBO Max.

Gunn, who skyrocketed to fame with the first Guardians of the Galaxy at Marvel Studios, was recruited by Warner Bros. after he was briefly fired by Disney in the summer of 2018 over a number of controversial tweets. While the Mouse House eventually reinstated him for Guardians Vol. 3, the filmmaker took advantage of his temporary free agent status to make The Suicide Squad and its television spinoff.