Elmer Fudd has to find another way to capture Bugs Bunny in HBO Max’s Looney Tunes Cartoons, as the hare hunter is no longer allowed to use his trusty rifle in the reboot of the classic animated series.
After a number of fans noticed that Elmer isn’t wielding his go-to firearm in the new series, showrunner and executive producer Peter Browngardt confirmed to The New York Times that they’re “not doing guns” in the reboot, but are retaining the violence and mayhem of the original shorts through the help of anvils, dynamites, and other explosives.
“We’re not doing guns,” said Browngardt. “But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.”
In Dynamite Dance, one of the shorts from the first season of the reboot, Elmer hunts for Bugs Bunny using a scythe instead of his signature rifle ― a deliberate modification in response to U.S. gun violence.
The gun ban doesn’t only apply to Elmer, as all characters in the Looney Tunes reboot will be gun-free. For instance, Yosemite Sam, who used a pair of pistols in the original series, is now, reportedly, going with a grass hook.
Despite the lack of guns in the reboot, Browngardt said that they did their best to keep the original feel of the classic cartoons. “I always thought, ‘What if Warner Bros. had never stopped making Looney Tunes cartoons?’” said Browngardt. “As much as we possibly could, we treated the production in that way.”
Also, storyboard artist Ryan Khatam said that viewers shouldn’t worry about the new Looney Tunes series becoming too politically correct. “We’re going through this wave of anti-bullying, everybody needs to be friends, everybody needs to get along,” he said. “[But] Looney Tunes is pretty much the antithesis of that. It’s two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent.”
Comprised of 30 shorts, Season 1 of Looney Tunes Cartoons premiered on May 27th on HBO Max.