John Cena Will Star in Coyote v. Acme, Which Sounds Like Sort of a … Legal Comedy?

This is not a series of words I expected to write: Peacemaker star John Cena has signed on to Warner Bros.’ Coyote v. Acme, a film based on a 32-year-old New Yorker article about Wile E. Coyote suing the Acme Company for the plentiful injuries its products have caused him.

It’s a humor article, obviously. (Obviously?)

Ian Frazier’s 1990 piece, called “Wile E. Coyote v. Acme Company,” sums up the crux of the matter like this: “Mr. Coyote states that on eighty-five separate occasions he has purchased of the Acme Company (hereinafter, “Defendant”), through that company’s mail-order department, certain products which did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labelling.”

The cinematic adaptation has a screenplay by Samy Burch, who has largely worked in casting and written a handful of shorts. Dave Green (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows) will direct the CGI-and-live-action film, and James Gunn is one of the producers.

The movie is not just the story of Wile E. Coyote, but of the human lawyer who takes on his case. Cena will play the lawyer’s former boss, who—shocking twist!—is representing Acme. It’s a bit of a change from his turn as Peacemaker (pictured above) or his stoic, fast-driving role as Dom Toretto’s suddenly appearing brother in Fast 9.

Is it an animated film for the whole family? A legal drama? A legal comedy? Will it get anywhere near the wry, dry tone that this kind of humor generally needs in order to work on the screen? The film already has a release date, so mark your calendars if you’re yearning to find out: Coyote v. Acme rocket-launches itself onto screens on July 21, 2023.


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