Disney puts the ax to THE LONE RANGER

by: Chris Eaton  source: Deadline


Can you say wow?

It’s not uncommon for films to be cancelled before production. One I could think of was Juan De Bont’s 1994 attempt at Godzilla. Hell, Terry Gilliam had one famously filmed as it crashed and burned. (Check out Lost in La Mancha) But, a massive budget film by possibly the biggest studio in the world, that isn’t an animated film, is almost unheard of.  Today, it was heard around the Internet.

Deadline broke the news that Disney has put the kibosh on The Lone Ranger.  What was suppose to be a Christmas tentpole film with a massive roster of big time talent behind it.  It was to be a Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Gore Verbinski and was set to star Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger.  Now why would Disney do such a thing?  Budget.  They got shaky legs at the $250 million dollar budget and wanted it down to around $200.  Main reason being that Lone Ranger is a very American character, one that has little exposure world wide.  International box office now plays a huge part in these tentpole films and they need a sure bet to justify large budgets as this.  Even though this is the same team that made the Pirates series, Lone Ranger would be a new franchise and thus not a proven commodity.

It’s a sign. Seems that a day has not gone by this week without some news coming out about studio or network heads wanting to cut the budget on what ever they’re working on.  I’ll admit though, unless there was something really huge planned for Lone Ranger, I can’t see this film being a justified $200 million dollar film.  What kind of western where they going to do?  Then there was the competition.  Next December there’s World War Z and the first part of The Hobbit opening along with what ever Oscar bait films that will in rotation.  Disney felt that the budget didn’t fit the risk. To be honest, I doubt Lone Ranger would have been the smash film that Pirates was.  Which is what the house of Mouse has wanted with every single one of their  Bruckheimer produced films since the first Pirates.  Sadly, they’ve yet to meet the same success with any of those projects.


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