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Gore Verbinski Slashing Budget In An Effort To Save The Lone Ranger

Director Gore Verbinski is reportedly scrambling to slash costs on The Lone Ranger after Disney pulled the reins on the $250-million Western.

According to Heat Vision, the budget has been whittled down to between $242 million and $244 million, not nearly enough for studio executives, who would like to see it at $215 million or less. Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer are said to have given up $10 million of their fees, but that won’t be enough to bridge what’s characterized as a “substantial budget gap.” The director supposedly has a week to make the necessary cuts to hit the studio’s target figure.

The Lone Ranger would seem like a sure bet for Disney, as it reunited the Pirates of the Caribbean team of Verbinski, Bruckheimer and Depp on a beloved franchise, but the underwhelming opening of Cowboys & Aliens and the studio’s $300-million investment in John Carter apparently made executives extremely nervous about a Western with a Texas-sized budget.

Heat Vision also seems to confirm online scuttlebutt that the screenplay contained, at least at one point, werewolves and other supernatural elements that contributed to the movie’s costs. Those are gone, but recent drafts are said to have included “three massive action set pieces involving trains remain, including one described as the biggest train sequence in film history.”

The Lone Ranger, which features Armie Hammer in the title role, is — or at least had been — scheduled to begin filming in mid-October for release on Dec. 21, 2012.



  • Anonymous

    Replace Verbinski and Depp, and make a straight western.  Why is Dynamite’s excellent “re-invention” of the Lone Ranger not the basis for this?  Cowboys & Aliens has been declared a flop, but True Grit was a suprise hit (hint, hint).

  • Willsncz

    That’s a surprisingly big budget for a western.

  • thespian

    Hollywood Hogheads sleep tight man,where are all the Western novels now that could turn out as great western scripts?They are afraid to show a classic western with a classic hero and a classic stagecoach chase with arrows allover it…

  • Robbyjustus

    There’s your problem, planning a release on doomsday.

  • demoncat_4

    at least this proves the film is not dead yet and gore and Johny must really like the character to now be trying to get the budget down to get the okay even though the lone ranger sadly has long passed his prime. and will not do well in theatres too old a character

  • Jmcreer

    Long past his prime?  What, like Sherlock Holmes was long past his prime?  Or Zorro?  Tarzan?  If it’s done respectfully and true to the genre people will see it.  It’s when they try to monkey around with everyone’s expectations that disasters result.

  • Jacob

    I’d say that’s probably going to be a big weekend. After the world doesn’t end, everyone’s going to be spending a lot.

  • Jacob

    Agreed. There is no prime for properties like this. They just require respect when being handled.