A Leaner, Meaner, Barely Cheaper Lone Ranger Rides Again

The Lone Ranger Comic Book PanelIt won’t cost between $250 to $275 million anymore, but Disney’s “Lone Ranger” will still cost around $215 million to make. (And this is all before they start advertising this thing.) Now before you scoff, keep in mind that this is Hollywood, where movie stars complain that doing a photoshoot is like being rape, and you’ll realize that this people (the ones in front and behind the camera, and the ones in suits behind the desks) do NOT live in the real world. So to them — yes, $215 for a Western is still “cheap”.

In any case, if you were one of those people waiting with bated breath to see how Disney’s “Lone Ranger” movie would find its way back to the big screen, then wait no longer. Deadline reports that the studio has reached an agreement with star Johnny Depp, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and director Gore Verbinski to trim their budget, with production on the Western reboot now tentatively set for early next year in New Mexico, which probably means the movie will no longer be able to make its Christmas 2012 release date. Unless, of course, Verbinski works fast and post-production goes swimmingly. Hey, I guess anything’s possible at this point.

As previously reported, “Lone Ranger” was put to pasture when the budget ballooned to the aforementioned $250-$275 range, and another Western/fantasy mash-up, the equally expensive “Cowboys and Aliens” crashed and burned and then got tossed down a cliff. So why the huge cost for a Western? Even a Hollywood, studio-backed Western? Werewolves, apparently.

In the Disney film, Depp would play Tonto, sidekick to the man in the white hat, the Lone Ranger (to be played by Armie Hammer). Dwight Yoakam, Tom Wilkerson, and Ruth Wilson were also cast in the film.

And just in case you forgot who The Lone Ranger was, here’s a reminder: