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I think everyone was doing a whole lot of eye rolling when it was reported that the reason Disney had decided to shut down production on “The Lone Ranger” movie starring Johnny Depp and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer was the hefty price tag — $250 million. And most people were probably wondering, “Why the hell would it have cost $250 million to make a Western?”
As it turns out, that’s probably because this Western was going to look more like “Pirates of the Caribbean” on horseback — completely with monsters. Or, in this case, werewolves.
Hollywood-Elsewhere cites a 2009 draft of “The Lone Ranger” by “Pirates” writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio as featuring a main “wolfbeast” of Native American origins being the main culprit, killing its way through the Wild West. I guess it makes sense. The Lone Ranger does use silver bullets for a reason, right? And if Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that only silver bullets can take down a werewolf.
Now granted, that would have cost a little bit more, but it still doesn’t explain the $250 million dollar price tag. Again, I have to bring up Rupert Wyatt’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, which came in at under $100 million with its army of motion-captured primates. Are you telling me it would have cost twice as much as the “Apes” budget for one werewolf in “The Lone Ranger”? Or even a legion of werewolves ala “Apes”?
Despite all this budget talk, though, I expect “The Lone Ranger” to still get made eventually. Depp is just too big right now not to cash in on, especially in a big, rollicking “Pirates”-like adventure, which is apparently what “The Lone Ranger” is. Personally, though, I find Depp’s continued talk of wanting to appease what little Native American blood he has in him by doing justice to the Tonto character as the sole reason why he’s doing the movie to be barf-worthy. Yeah, and never mind the gobs of millions you’ll be making off the movie, it has nothing to do with it, right, Johnny?