Back in April, Donovan revealed that Disney would be starting production this fall on a reboot of the classic western film The Lone Ranger starring Disney mega-star Johnny Depp. To many people’s surprise (including myself), Johnny was not slated to star as the Ranger but as his Indian sidekick Tonto. Then in May, a second reveal slated Armie Hammer of The Social Network fame to saddle-up and play the role of the Ranger.
Now it looks like this highly anticipated remake has already hit it’s final roadblock with Disney announcing that it has shut down the project. Word on the street is that it came down to final budget numbers which involved talks between Disney and executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Jerry has brought Disney a ton of success with the Pirates franchise but reports say that Jerry’s proposed budget for the film was out of Disney’s range.
Director Gore Verbinski who also helmed the Pirates films was onboard with Jerry for a budget increase saying he didn’t want to budge on the numbers he knew he needed to make this film a success. So what factors came into play when Disney decided not to fork over the coin?
For starters, the film is a western which hasn’t really performed spectacular in box office ratings. Cowboys & Aliens started strong but quickly fizzled and Jonah Hex just plain-old sucked. The only western that got any attention was the Oscar nominated True Grit. Oh and I guess the animated film that Johnny Depp voiced titled Rango did okay too. However, for Disney to fork over such a big budget, the studio felt as though the genre was a little bit sketchy.
So where does this leave the relationship between Jerry and Disney. I wonder if Pirates of the Caribbean 4 will now be on hold with this little feud looming overhead. I feel bad for Armie Hammer who was probably stoked to get his first starring role and in a Disney classic film reboot of all things. In the meantime, we can look forward to some other big-budget projects that Disney has on the go including John Carter and Oz The Great and Powerful.
Are you disappointed that Disney pulled the plug on The Lone Ranger?