Disney Shuts Down The Lone Ranger, or, Why Does it Cost $250 Million to Make a Western?

Well, they’ve shut down production now, but who knows, they could start it back up again in a day or week or a month from now. Like Ron Howard’s “The Dark Towers”, which is currently looking for a home because Universal thought the film’s budget was too outrageously high for their liking, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced “Lone Ranger” was a tad too expensive for Disney, the original budget clocking in at $250 million. Which makes you wonder why it would cost that much to film a Western. What, are there alien invaders in this thing or something?

According to Deadline, Disney is asking for a $200 million budget, something that apparently Bruckheimer and company couldn’t get done to the studio’s satisfaction. And thus, the brakes have been applied on the big-budget Western, which would have starred Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the titular masked man, with Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski doing the honors behind the camera.

“The Lone Ranger” was previously scheduled for a December 21, 2012 release date, which is still a long ways off. I imagine there wouldn’t be extensive CGI or anything that would require a lengthy post-production schedule (unlike, say, another big-budget Western involving aliens), so Disney could reverse their decision soon and still get the film into theaters by the original December date.

After all, hasn’t Depp made Disney a bazillion dollars in the last few years? I believe all three of his “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies are all pretty high on the highest grossing movies of all time list…



About Nix

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Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.

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  • tripur

    It cost $250 cause jonny depp is in it

    • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

      he probably gets 30mil plus some of the backend?

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      Even if it cost them $50 million straight-up for Depp (which is unlikely, as stars like Depp know the profits are in the back end as Tin noted below), it still wouldn’t justify a Western costing $200 million. Kevin Costner shot a brilliant Western, “Open Range”, that looked as good as any Western I’d ever seen, for about $22 million.

      • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

        with a 250mil price tag, looks like they want do something along the lines of that Will Smith/Kevin Kline/Branagh fiasco of a western. I can’t even remember the name of that movie offhand, but it sucked.

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

          Wild Wild West. It cost that much because they had a giant mechanical spider in it. In case you’ve never heard it, this is how that giant spider came about. Sit through it, it’s worth it.

          http://youtu.be/vgYhLIThTvk

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

          Wild Wild West. It cost that much because they had a giant mechanical spider in it. In case you’ve never heard it, this is how that giant spider came about. Sit through it, it’s worth it.

          http://youtu.be/vgYhLIThTvk

          • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

            Maybe The Lone Ranger will have a giant mechanical octopus?

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

            One can only hope.

          • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

            Maybe The Lone Ranger will have a giant mechanical octopus?

  • Brad

    Hopefully, it won’t be started up again. Like “The Green Hornet” (incidentally, the Lone Ranger’s grandnephew), this just sounded like a bad idea all the way around.

  • Vampelle

    i hope it never be made, since this story is not about lone ranger but more on JD… which is stupid. and such a hugh budget for a western movie is so stupid.

    • FutureMan

      Don’t you worry about a thing this movie will be made and it will make tons of money. Not! Well at least another one like it will never be made for a long long time.