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David Zaslav Paints Fake Movie Premiere on Canyon Wall

SONORAN DESERT, Ariz. — Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav spent an entire morning painting an elaborate mural of a premiere-night cinema marquee on an otherwise nondescript canyon wall, speedy avian sources confirm.

“This is the type of scheme that only a super genius could conceive of,” said Zaslav as he handed out business cards printed with that title. “You see, I have had trouble attracting talented filmmakers to work with us, since I keep canceling their movies. I’ve tried to catch them by luring them under a dangling anvil with a pile of Black List screenplays. I’ve tried strapping a rocket to my back and wearing roller skates to chase them down. I’ve even shot myself out of a giant slingshot to try to run down David Fincher. All of those plans may have blown up in my face, but his one is sure-fire. If I can trick artists into thinking their movie’s premiere is literally already happening, they’ll have to work with me.”

Samy Burch, screenwriter of “Coyote vs. Acme,” noted that the ruse had indeed fooled her, if briefly.

“Sure, I thought it was a real movie premiere for a second,” said Burch, whose screenplay for “May December” is currently nominated for an Academy Award. “It was a really detailed painting. If you looked at it from just the right perspective, it was perfect. I truly do not understand why anyone would put that much effort into a bit. Like, what’s the payoff, here? You got me, David. I believed you were going to release my movie. Good one.”

Will Forte, star of the film, had a notably different take after seeing Zaslav’s mural.

“I think I could do it,” said Forte, who spoke in a hushed and haunted tone while staring into the distance. “I think I could run into the picture. Seriously. I’ve thought about this so many times throughout my life, but I never thought I would have the chance to try it. I really think I’m cartoonish enough to get away with it. I can do it. I need to do it.”

At press time, Zaslav was reportedly witnessed destroying the painting so that Warner Bros. Discovery could claim it, too, as a tax loss.

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