by: Chris Eaton source: Deadline
But is everyone back?
The economy sucks. We all know that. But it’s gotten to the point it’s effecting our movies. In the last few years, there have been huge movies canned based on their initial budgets. Bioshock comes to mind. Though, if you can’t think back a few years, the most recent film to suffer from budget shock is Disney‘s The Lone Ranger. The grand scale retelling of the classic western hero that would have seen Johnny Depp as the Indian sidekick Tonto and Armie Hammer has the Ranger himself. The duo would have fought werewolf Indians out in the old west. Yes, it’s Lone Rnager vs Wolfen. Gore Verbinski was lined up to direct and everything was going to be grand.
Then Disney put the kibosh on it.
A $250 million dollar budget. Disney, who has a lot of movies over that magical $200 million budget range, told the production that it needed to cut that number down to something a little more manageable. So cut they did. According to Deadline, the film’s producers have managed to bring the production budget down, and Disney is set to go again on The Lone Ranger. How’d they do it? Depp, Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have taken pay cuts and some of the more ambitious scenes in the film have been reworked. Shooting will commence at the beginning of next year and all the major cast members are still on board.
What’s interesting about this whole thing is that Disney, who had one the biggest non holiday hits in Alice in Wonderland are getting shaky about spending money. With the star of the film, Johnny Depp even having to take a pay cut, it’s safe to say that we’re entering a new era in film making. Star power, while still critical, is starting to wane. Big is better, but done on a budget. Some studios have gotten this idea. Best examples being Cloverfield and District 9. Both made on modest budgets with top notch special effects but they all made cash. Proving that a film doesn’t necessarily need stars to sell. As long as their good. (I argue about Cloverfield, but that’s a different post for a different day) I’ll be curious to see how well The Lone Ranger dose. Seeing that Cowboys and Aliens kinda didn’t do so well, and that Disney has another big budget film in John Carter coming out, there’s a lot of shaky legs at Disney. They need to be sure that this film is a hit.