Disney's Recently Delayed LONE RANGER Film May Begin Production Early 2012
Published: September 24, 2011 - 8:03am
With a trimmed down budget, signs are pointing to the Western adventure actually getting made after the Disney pulled the plug on the production due to money concerns. It is still planned that Armie Hammer star as the Masked Ranger and Johnny Depp as his Native American sidekick Tonto.
Director Gore Verbinski and mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer were able to get the projected budget down to $215 million per the request of the studio. The savings came from a renegotiation of contracts from all parties involved, including Depp. Production changes will occur as well with the shoot being cut down and the entire production budget reduced while retaining enough to create a viable product.
It was reported that a budget that was exceeding $250 million in production cost was the primary cause for the studio's original withdraw. While the Lone Ranger filmmakers were able to get down to $232 million, it apparently wasn't enough to save the project. This is all in light of some high-profile, big-budget live-action films that are currently in the works at Disney. John Carter, which is directed by Oscar-winner Andrew Stanton and stars Taylor Kitsch, has already released a teaser trailer. It's estimated cost is around the $300 million mark. Sam Raimi's all-star fantasy The Great and Powerful Oz is coming together at about $200 million. Although investments had been made with production scheduled to begin in October, The Lone Ranger was the easiest one to cut for Disney.
Dwight Yoakam, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale and Helena Bonham Carter were recently in negotiations to join the film. Actors Tom Wilkinson and Ruth Wilson recently joined the project as well, which would have focused on the villainous Cavendish gang's attack on a group of Texas Rangers. The Lone Ranger and his sidekick Tonto set out on a quest to avenge the attack and take down the outlaws. There is no word as to what actors of that list will be making a return, but Wilson is still expected to take on the female lead.