It has not exactly been a smooth road to getting The Lone Ranger film made. At the end of last summer, Cowboys & Aliens came out to a mediocre box office performance despite a huge amount of hype and some big names attached. The money-loser was not seen as a jab at the team behind the effort though, but rather as one aimed at the Western genre in any capacity. As a result, Disney began to have cold feet regarding Jerry Bruckheimer’s The Lone Ranger.
The movie would be starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer with notorious over-spender Gore Verbinski at the helm. Preliminary estimates based on the script had the film pegged at $250 million. Even though this was the Pirates of the Caribbean team, this is a genre that plays bigger on the domestic front and Pirates is not exactly top billing anymore for cinematic blockbusters in the U.S.
The concern was great enough to cause Disney to shut down production for several weeks until massive script revisions of a huge scene coupled with decreased producer fees enabled a $50 million cost shaving. Smaller usually means better story, so many were not exactly too disappointed to hear what had went down. Perhaps in a little bit of foreshadowing though, the production did end up behind schedule and ahead of budget by time we got to today’s news: The Lone Ranger is almost entirely in the can.
Jerry Bruckheimer broke the update earlier today via his blog with a few set photos which are not exactly worth the view. He also had this to say: “Almost done with filming of The Lone Ranger. 125 days of shooting seemed to fly by.”
If you hop over there, you will see the most stereotypical of Western backdrops so check them out if that’s what you care about. No Depp. No Hammer.
The Lone Ranger hits theaters nationwide on July 3, 2013.