Here’s a problem that Disney currently has: They want to make The Lone Ranger but it cost too much. The budget is at $275 million and that’s absurd for a western.
Hell, that’s absurd for a sci-fi movie! But Disney wants to make it with Johnny Depp attached as Tonto and Jerry Bruckheimer producing. Depp, however, won’t make it without his friend Verbinski.
Verbinski and Bruckheimer have been working hard on bringing the budget down — and they have. They’re brought it down to $215 million. Disney is willing to make it at $200 million but they also have a “compromise” number at $220 million.
Verbinski, Bruckheimer and Depp are also looking at deferring their salary or take pay cuts to bring the budget down ($30 million estimated for all three).
So, basically, this is a huge mess. Verbinski is notorious for high budgets (Rango, Pirates 1 – 3) and he will hold his ground for the vision he has. Disney won’t want to lose Depp at all though, so they’ll need to make a decision here quick.
Westerns don’t do too great at the box office these days, but apparently this Lone Ranger has some supernatural elements that cost a lot. If it’s anything like Pirates of the Caribbean it’ll be amazing visually and entertain, but it’ll hard to pack in enough wow in a western to bring in audiences, or maintain quality. Just ask Cowboys and Aliens how that turned out.
I hope this gets sorted out soon because this film has tons of potential. And I want to see it dammit! [Deadline]