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Disney Rescues The Lone Ranger

After more than a month filled with uncertainly, it looks as if Disney’s Lone Ranger may ride again after all.

The studio, concerned by the underwhelming opening of Cowboys & Aliens, pulled the reins on the rumored $275 million Western in mid-August, leading producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski to slash costs. They reportedly gave up $10 million of their fees as part of an effort to reduce the budget to somewhere in the $215 million range, lower than the $220 million compromise figure but higher than the $200 million Disney really wanted. The deal with star Johnny Depp was apparently reworked as well.

Now Deadline contends the financial issues are expected to be resolved by next week, meaning the studio can begin rehiring the crew to start production by January or February. It seems highly unlikely that the film, which stars Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger, will be able to hit its original Dec. 21, 2012, opening date. But where it will fall on the Disney calendar remains to be seen.


  • Scud

    Depp still playing Tonto I see. That’s an instant “no thanks” from me.

  • Jmcreer

    While I’m happy that they’re actually making a Lone Ranger film with a decent budget (god knows WHY you’d need 210 million – did they not see True Grit?  40 million budget, brilliant film) I’m still apprehensive over the “Wild, Wild West” undertones and the rumours of an emphasis on Tonto and NOT the LR himself.  If they make LR the bumbling fool with Tonto as the real hero I’ll be pretty disapointed.

  • Jemurr

    Yeah Depp playing Tonto is B.S. He doesn’t need it and there’s got to be plenty of Native actors out there to play the part.

  • mdk

    They better deliver a damn good movie, then.  Not just Pirates On Horseback.  BTW:  Depp as Tonto doesn’t bother me as long as he doesn’t camp it up, he is part Cherokee.

  • mdk

    If President Obama can be the First African-American President despite being only mixed race, and not actually African American, then Depp with “a Native American great-grandmother” can play Tonto (who was, btw a fictional Native American, it’s not like Depp’s up for the role of Chief Joseph or something here).

  • Scud

     The thing here is Obama looks African-American and Depp looks about as Indian as he does Chinese.

  • Gingy13

    As long as Depp doesn’t play “Captain Tonto Sparrow” in this film, I’m fine with it. I don’t hate Depp as an actor and I actually think he’s pretty good depending on the role.

    I like The Lone Ranger, and it’s Disney so it should be in good hands. Let’s just hope they don’t bork it up like Hollywood did with Green Hornet.

  • Atomic Kommie Comics

    “If they make LR the bumbling fool with Tonto as the real hero I’ll be
    pretty disapointed”

    Just like his grand-nephew, The Green Hornet…  ;-(