The Pirates dream team (not really my dream, but anyway) of Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp have been set to reteam at Disney for a big screen rendition of The Lone Ranger, curiously and officially without the The. But have these plans been nixed?
Deadline started it by reporting outright that the film had been scrapped:
In a stunning development, Disney has shut down production on The Lone Ranger, the Gore Verbinski-directed period Western that was to star Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the title character… I’m told this all just happened, and Disney pulled the plug because of the budget.
They’ve since updated with this downscaled version of events:
Johnny Depp is in Europe right now, but really wanted to make The Lone Ranger. According to one insider, “Let’s see how it all shakes out on Monday. There’s always a chance that it could go. You never know until you know.”
Lots of unofficial Thes there, but the title does seem odd without it.
Meanwhile, Variety say the project is “far from dead”, relating some word from inside the studio that sounds like time-buying spin.
There’s only one way a Western could cost anything like this much and that’s because of big, fat paycheques for the talent (well, that or an invading force of aliens).
If Johnny really wants to make the film, he knows what he can do…
The last big studio films that were put on hold while the budget was snipped were At The Mountains of Madness and The Dark Tower, and they were pretty quickly confirmed to be on the scrap heap. I’ll give Ranger until Friday on the outside.