Report: Johnny Depp Won’t Make Lone Ranger Without Verbinski

When last we left The Lone Ranger, it wasn’t with a cloud of dust and a hearty “Hi-Yo, Silver!” No, the big-screen adaptation was in peril, with Disney pulling the reins on the rumored $275-million movie, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski scrambling to slash the budget to a size the studio finds more manageable — somewhere south of $215 million.

As we rejoin the adventure we learn, courtesy of Deadline, that the duo is presenting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross a budget that’s somewhere in that $215-million range, lower than the $220-million comprise figure that apparently had been bandied about, but not the $200 million or so the studio really wanted.

Will Ross shoot down the new proposal, which required Bruckheimer and Verbinski to give up a combined $10 million in fees, or saddle up for the big-budget Western? Tune in next week when — wait! There’s a twist to this cliffhanger!

“Insiders” tell Deadline that Johnny Depp, who’s long best set to star as Tonto, still wants to make The Lone Ranger, but won’t do it without Verbinski, with whom he worked on three installments of The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as well as Rango. So Disney may be in a corner: It can’t risking pushing the director too much more on the budget without risking his involvement — and if Verbinski leaves, so will Depp.

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Comments

  • Scud

    If they can’t make a Lone Ranger movie with a 200 million dollar budget somethings wrong. Also I hope Depp and Verbinski leave. I don’t really feel like seeing Jack Sparrow as Tonto. Get a real Indian, honestly is it so hard?

  • jgrantt18

    I just hope this movie doesn’t get made. We don’t need another Jack Sparrow-centric movie (but this time he’ll be dressed as an Indian!). I’m sick of this character and Johnny Depp clearly just not trying for big pay-days. 

  • Bowser

    I’d vote for Adam Beech. I don’t really see why Depp would be any better them him. Acting wise, not star power wise.

  • MadMikeyD

    I hopw Verbinski and Depp both leave the project and Disney decides to do a real Lone Ranger movie, not “The Tonto Show” mockery of the material that those two had planned.  I agree Adam Beach would be good as Tonto, and I know he had been interested in the role.

  • Scud

    Acting wise he really isn’t better.

  • V. home

    Verbinski and Johnny Depp are a winning team. .  Disney should know that this winning team will contitue to make money for this studio.  Come on Disney  – allow this movie to be made.