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Sooner or later, Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger will be in movie theaters, and uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and his A-list director will be able to look back at all of the pre-production turmoil and – we hope – have a good laugh. Because trying to keep this train on its track has been a full-time job. The latest hiccup in a bumpy production schedule? Deadline says Dwight Yoakam has exited the cast due to “a scheduling conflict.”
Do they still have Johnny Depp as Tonto? Yes. Is Armie Hammer still locked in for the Lone Ranger role? So far. So in the long run, Lone Ranger’s still ready to gallop forward with a late-February start to filming so it can maintain its May 31, 2013 release date.
Deadline does say that Yoakam was set to play one of the major bad guys, which is interesting. Right now, Tom Wilkinson’s still on tap to play Latham Cole, the film’s chief villain. We weren’t sure who Yoakam was scheduled to play. Could there be room for more than one adversary in Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio’s screenplay? Or was Yoakam just set to play a major component of Cole’s villainous squad?
We’ll find out once we learn who Verbinski hires to replace Yoakam, and it’s bound to happen soon, as the expensive production itching to start production very, very soon. And I was mildly joking, but it’s true that so long as Ranger still has Depp on board and, to a lesser extent, Hammer, the team can stay in the saddle and the film can overcome these continuous hurdles.