'Looney Tunes' on HBO Max Won't Feature Firearms: 'We're Not Doing Guns'
He may still be hunting for rabbits, but Looney Tunes's Elmer Fudd will no longer be packing heat.
Yes, Bugs Bunny's antagonist will be ditching his usual weapon in new episodes of HBO Max's Looney Tunes Cartoons, which features the classic characters. "We're not doing guns," showrunner Peter Browngardt told The New York Times in a recent interview.
Other than that, however, the series—consisting of episodes that are one to six minutes in length— strives to maintain the comedic tone of the original, which came to popularity in the 1930s and 40s. "We can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in," Browngardt continued.
And don't expect everything to be tame, because some of that "cartoony violence" could land some shorts on a platform aimed at adults. "Some of them have maybe gone a little too far, so they might come out in a different format," Browngardt explained. "Maybe they'll come out packaged for an Adult Swim type of thing." Adult Swim, like HBO Max, is part of the WarnerMedia brand.
The need to pull back on gun imagery may serve as a method of balancing new ideals with the cartoon's inherently "violent" nature as storyboard artist Ryan Khatam revealed, "We're going though this wave of anti-bullying, everybody needs to be friends, everybody needs to get along... Looney Tunes is pretty much the antithesis of that," he said. "It's two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent."
Gun or not, Elmer Fudd's motivations remain the same as the fan favorite characters enter a new phase of their pop culture lives into the world of streaming.
Looney Tunes Cartoons, Streaming now, HBO Max