Johnny Depp's The Lone Ranger May Live On At Disney
During the first week of this month, a report came out saying that the future of Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger was to be decided by studio heads over the long Labor Day weekend. The production had been shut down in August due to budget concerns - the film was hovering around $250 million - and after some tinkering done by the filmmakers, Disney was going to review the new budget and decide whether or not the project would move forward. Then...silence. It's been nearly two weeks since the executives were supposed to make their decision and we haven't heard a peep. Now we're finally hearing some news, and it sounds positive.
Deadline is reporting from inside sources that it looks as though The Lone Ranger will have a future at the studio, though the headline suggests that it's a matter of "guarded optimism." Following the shutdown, Disney suits told producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Verbinski that they would need to take $50 million off of the budget, but the pair argued for $215 million. A few days after the production was halted it was reported that what was driving up costs was an extensive amount of CGI related to werewolves and "Native American occult aspects." Those parts were removed from the script, but star Johnny Depp said that he wouldn't do the film without Verbinski at the helm. There's no official word yet, but the site's article ends saying, "don’t be surprised if The Lone Ranger rides again."
I still have no idea why a western would need a budget of $200 million, but then again I'm not a filmmaker/producer. The film does still have a stellar cast lined up, including the likes of Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson, Helena Bonham Carter, Dwight Yoakam, Barry Pepper and James Badge Dale, but this delay may affect the December 21, 2012 release date. One step at a time, though; we're still not sure if it's even happening.
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