Is The Lone Ranger in trouble?

News Simon Brew 14 Jun 2012 - 07:12

Johnny Depp is starring in The Lone Ranger, set for release in summer 2013. But the movie seems to have hit problems...

One of Disney’s big hopes for the summer of 2013 is its big screen take on The Lone Ranger. The new film stars Johnny Depp, and it reunites him with his Pirates Of The Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and director Gore Verbinski. The project was also under threat at one stage, you might remember, when Disney put the brakes on, to get the budget brought down before it agreed to start rolling cameras.

According to a piece at The Hollywood Reporter, though, those efforts may yet have been in vain.

The budget on the film had been cut down for $215m – for a western, effectively! – from the original price of $250m. But the film is now reportedly behind schedule, and the cost of it has ballooned back up to the $250m mark.

Appreciating that the film is not going to be short on special effects (and that there's a fair bill for physical material, too), and also appreciating that it’s got some big name talent on board, that’s still a staggering price for the movie. To us audience members at the end of it all, the cost of the negative is an irrelevance, certainly. But what does set alarm bells ringing is the fact that on-set rewrites are seemingly happening. That hardly worked a treat with the second and third Pirates movies, and if last minute cost trimming, rather than good storytelling, is the prime reason for the current rewrites, that’s a genuine cause for concern.

We’ll see how it turns out. It always struck us that The Lone Ranger was something of a gamble if everything had gone to plan. Hopefully, a good, solid movie will emerge from whatever trouble the film is going through right now. We'll know next summer...

The Hollywood Reporter.

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Let's hope it works, but after some major Western mis-steps lately, I bet Disney are nervous. At the end of the day $250 million is an insane budget for a Western and it sounds like the script was not rock-solid to begin with. I fear the writing is on the wall.

I knew there would be problems when I first saw the above photo with a dead bird on someone hat! $250 million for a western? Sergio Leone will be turning in his grave right now, and I can guarantee the film won't be as endeering as the Dollars trilogy...

It was in trouble the moment some studio head forgot that this wasn't the 1950s and cast a white guy as a Native American.


Not a film I'm aiming to watch.  I fully expect this to nose-dive at the cinema even if it does contain Johnny Depp with a dead crow on his head.

Well, I think the photo looks nice...

Depp claims his great-grandmother was Native American, so after 60 years, at least it's a step in the right direction! Lol

How the heck can a Western - ANY Western - cost over $200m, if Disney had any sense, they would have capped it at $150m, and not one red cent more, when's the last Western that earned $800m worldwide, a number this film is going to have to reach simply to break even...

"Hi-ho Platinum, away!"

When it all comes together, Disney have shown that they can produce blockbuster films like the first Pirates and The Avengers. However they can often completely mess it up such as Pirates 2 and 3 and to a lesser extent, John Carter and Pirates 4. The budget is a big problem obviously, and I feel that Disney have been putting in too much money into their films. I understand that much of the money for John Carter went to the very impressive sets but I still think that they could have made a profit with a smaller budget and slight improvements on the script. The Avengers worked but only because it has a big fan base and all of the right elements were in place.
Thor was made on a budget of £140 million and I believe that the Lone Ranger could easily be made on this amount.

Why can't we have original ideas anymore? 

I really didn't like the sound of this when they announced it. Having Johnny 'this is suppsed to be a supporting role but I'll steal the show cos Disney want me to' Depp put me off even more.
And the photo of Depp just annoys me!

The Comanche don't seem to mind. The nation adopted Depp a couple of weeks ago. 

These budget and schedule leeks out of Disney are getting out of hand. It seems that someone is actively trying to sink their own studio's product, making the conversation about what it cost instead of its any good. Personally I don't care how much a movie costs. Its not my money.  

LOL! Agreed! I'm not sure how this could be MORE insulting to Native Americans...

Maybe they have a giant mechanical spider for the climax?

I've not been impressed with many of Depp's films of late. I still think he's a good actor, but either he's having some bad luck or he's not as picky about his work. I hope he can get past playing a stereotypical Wild West "Indian" and bring something new - I know he has it in him.

I've not heard anything about the story, but I'd bet it'll be an "origin" story since not many folks younger than 40 will be too familiar with the characters. I'm 40 and I barely remember, though I was never a big fan of the genre.

There is absolutely no justification for a western to cost 250M, unless they gave over 200 of it to Depp. It will serve this film right when it can't possibly make a profit even if it is a reasonable popular movie. Hollywood is going to have to figure out that every movie can't be the 200 million dollar tentpole, their aren't enough audience dollars for them all, even if they are all masterpieces.

Barring bloated actor salaries, why should this film have cost more than 25-50 million. think about it. Prometheus was 120. Both hellboys were well under 100. District 9 was 30. Even the Adventures of Tintin which was a cutting edge motion capture CGI movie had a budget of 130. This budget is some kind of boondoggle, or tax dodge

the first pirates move cost 140 as well. the most recent: 250. it's like someone decided this is what a movie costs. employee wages havent gone up. presumably, with planet earth's economies tanking, location shooting and tax breaks may have improved. CGI has a tendency to come down in price. yet movie budgets are ballooning. maybe cocaine is back in fashion?

i can picture Tonto being played for laughs.

Does the lone ranger even have or need an origin? he just rides around setting things right and shooting his gun

That's interesting. I had not idea that Pirates 1 only cost 140 million. I sort of assumed it was about 200 million or something. but yeah agreed, it all seems like a silly amounts of money, when you consider what Edgar Wright did with a budget of 60 million when he made Scott Pilgrim. 150 million should be enough to make a western.

Because Hollywood is scared of new.

Lots of special effects makes me worry about the quality of a western. Think of all the great westerns, and how little the special effects were used... Unforgiven, True Grit, Silverado, Tombstone, ect.

What did they expect? Verbinski directed the most expensive movie ever made* (Pirates 3) Add on 5 years of inflation, CGI werewolves so they don't have to shoot humans, the fact it's not even in post production yet and it may well top $300 mil.

*In dollars not adjusted for inflation, and actually reported by the studio. Spider-Man 3 was reportedly almost as expensive too.

lol, i bet all three seasons of Deadwood combined did not cost 150 million to make

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