After Cowboys & Aliens became a box office bummer, Disney pulled the plug on their Lone Ranger vehicle with Johnny Depp in the saddle as Tonto and The Social Network's Armie Hammer as the masked Ranger. With budgets swelling more each day — even though all the lead players reportedly took a cut in their salary — they axed Gore Verbinski's remake of this American Old West story. Deadline is reporting, however, that things are back on track — and Disney plans on announcing a new start date soon.
Previously, the movie would have cost the studio upwards of $275 million, and even though dollars have been cut, it looks like producer Jerry Bruckheimer still has somewhere around $215 mil to play with. Shooting starts next year in New Mexico, which means the team probably won't make their December 21 release date. The production brings together the original team behind the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
With Depp lined up once more — his Jack Sparrow has helped to gross over $3 billion for the Mickey Mouse studio, and Alice in Wonderland's $1 billion isn't too shabby either — will this guarantee another blockbuster? Or will Depp's sidekick role not be enough to get bodies in seats? Has the western genre been too saturated lately to garner more interest in a story that has been recycled many times?