Your preaching to the choir.
Movie studio execs do a lot of things that don't make a lot of sense.
The other issue is that John Carter has already been shot so Disney is committed whether they like it or not. The Lone Ranger is still in pre-production and casting so Disney hasn't sunk to much money into it yet.
So apparently the film would have been a werewolf movie too.
Dances With Werewolves :: Hollywood Elsewhere
Not surprising considering all the pre-production work that's already been done on this. If (& when) they pull it together hopefully there is a more "Silverado"-esque touch and less Will Smith's "Wild, Wild West" flash in this film's saddlebag...
'Lone Ranger': Director, Producer
Offer to Trim Fees as
Budget Battle Rages
full article at:Quote:
Will the Lone Ranger cry "Hi-ho Silver!" or ride into the sunset? Disney shocked Hollywood by pulling the plug Aug. 12 on the $250 million-budgeted Western, which was scheduled to enter production in the fall with Johnny Depp starring as Tonto.
While the studio is giving director Gore Verbinski a week to rework the script and bring costs down significantly, many associated with the project believe the budget pressures are too drastic to salvage the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced movie as it was conceived and developed.
A source close to the dealmaking says studio chief Rich Ross believes the "substantial budget gap" can only be bridged by Verbinski reimagining some of the bigger sequences and a few "give-backs" from the talent -- moves that those working on the film have been uninterested in making.
"It all starts with [Verbinski]," says a source. "If there is any saving this version of the movie, he'll have to find substantial savings. If he can, maybe we can hold this together."
Verbinski is said to have brought the budget down to $242 million to $244 million via nips and tucks, but the source says it needs to get to $215 million to $220 million -- or less. Verbinski and Bruckheimer are said to have given up a total of $10 million from their fees, but it appears unlikely that the filmmakers will reduce the budget further.
Even at the cost Disney has targeted, the film would have to gross about $800 million worldwide to be profitable when marketing and rich backends to Depp, Verbinski and Bruckheimer are factored in. That's a tough task for a non-sequel, notwithstanding Depp's appeal and older audiences' familiarity with the Lone Ranger character.
The underperformance of the Western Cowboys & Aliens this summer also has added to Disney's skittishness, as has its $300 million commitment (the studio says it's lower) to John Carter, the 2012 adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs book by first-time live-action director Andrew Stanton (Wall-E).
One thing that is unfathomable to many is how a Western can cost $250 million.
The original script included werewolves and other supernatural creatures from Native American myths. Those bells and whistles have been jettisoned, but according to sources who have read recent drafts, three massive action set pieces involving trains remain, including one described as the biggest train sequence in film history.
'Lone Ranger': Director, Producer Offer to Trim Fees as Budget Battle Rages - The Hollywood Reporter
I really, REALLY hope they are able to make the necessary cuts, and don't forget that the last 4 movies Johnny Depp did with Disney grossed $950M+ He alone could make it a profitable movie
Hard to believe that the company would miss the opportunity at their worldwide media platform event this weekend to announce the start of production with a couple of key marquee appearances...
Lone Ranger may get back in the saddle soon - latimes.comQuote:
Film crew workers, who were told last week to dismantle a western town set being built near Silver City, N.M., for Walt Disney Studios' planned production of "The Lone Ranger," were instructed Wednesday night to hold off on the tear down, said a person close to the project.
The development was an apparent sign that Disney and the film's producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski may yet resolve a budget dispute that would put the masked man and his Native American sidekick -- played by Johnny Depp -- back in the saddle.
Since Disney suspended the project last Friday, the filmmakers have been trying to cut the estimated $250-million cost of the movie to satisfy the studio's demand to shoot the production for around $210 million.
A person close to the director said Verbinski, Depp and Bruckheimer have agreed to cut their own compensation as part of an effort to lower the budget to $230 million. The filmmakers were also willing to eliminate expensive computer-generated scenes involving supernatural sequences.
Reached by email on Tuesday, Depp was cryptic about the "Lone Ranger" project. "I think everything will work out as it should," the Oscar-nominated actor said from London, where he was at Pinewood Studios outside London working on the Warner Bros. film "Dark Shadows."
It is still unclear whether the sides will come to terms.
Representatives of Disney and Bruckheimer declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Verbinski said he was busy working and unavailable.
Last week, work was suspended on the sets under construction in New Mexico and most of the 60 workers were laid off, while a small number stayed behind to disassemble the town. Meanwhile, a separate group of crafts people building a mock train set in a warehouse in Albuquerque continued their work, said the person close to the project, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the film.
This is good, Disney isn't ready to just say goodbye to the project and they truly do want to make this happen
Back on officially now: release date MAY 31, 2013
Industry trades report production budget was slashed from proposed $250 million to $215 million. Hi-Yo Silver! Away!
According to The Hollywood Reporter actor James Frain of 'True Blood' has just been cast in the film, which begins production in six weeks. Frain will play a tough foreman overseeing Chinese and Indian rail workers for the chief villain played by Tom Wilkinson.
Governor Susana Martinez and State Film Office Announce The Lone Ranger To Begin Production In New Mexico
Feature production will shoot in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and around the state
Governor Susana Martinez and State Film Office Announce The Lone Ranger To Begin Production In New :: New Mexico FilmQuote:
January 13, 2012 SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Film Office announced today that Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ The Lone Ranger, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp, will begin principal photography in New Mexico in February 2012, with production planned in and around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Shiprock and other locations around the state through the middle of August 2012.
“The Lone Ranger is proof that New Mexico’s film industry is alive and well,” said Governor Martinez. “This administration is committed to fostering productive relationships with film studios so we can continue to offer our talented workforce and breathtaking backdrops for major productions. As we continue to build upon our reputation as a premier film production center, we are pleased to welcome The Lone Ranger to our state.” State and local officials have been working with the Walt Disney Studios for over a year to bring the project to New Mexico.
“We couldn’t be happier to bring The Lone Ranger production to New Mexico. The state’s world-class crews, local talent and spectacular locations will be critical in helping us take this iconic story and legendary characters to new heights,” said Jerry Bruckheimer, Producer. “I’d like to thank Governor Martinez, the New Mexico Film Office, and the people of New Mexico for welcoming The Lone Ranger to your state.”
“We welcome The Lone Ranger to Albuquerque," said Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry. “We’re pleased that our local filmmakers will have job opportunities and appreciate the significant economic impact that this great film will provide to our city.” Santa Fe Mayor David Coss stated, “I am thrilled that The Lone Ranger will be filmed here in Santa Fe and around New Mexico. Our community colleges have some of the best Film Technician training programs which put students to work; and the economic benefits that movies of this type bring to New Mexico are tremendous.”
The Lone Ranger is directed by Gore Verbinski, produced by Jerry Bruckeimer, and features an all-star cast with Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid, the Lone Ranger.
The Lone Ranger is a thrilling action adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption. The film is slated for a May 31, 2013 release.
I hadn't been following the news of The Lone Ranger very closely, so a lot of the info in this thread was new to me. And it fills me with a lot of dread, mainly to do with how they're seemingly going to go with the route of making fun of the Lone Ranger.
I agree with wanting to make Tonto a stronger and more respectful character, though casting a "Fabutan Indian" is not really the way to go about it (the term being what I picked up from how the Native American woman I work with refers to Taylor Lautner or any 1/nth Native person cast in a Native role). There are plenty of Native American actors they could have chosen, but of course none of them are Johnny Depp.
I can't get invested in movies that make fun of themselves and try to make me feel stupid for wanting to like them. The Lone Ranger is the Western equivalent of Batman: a man on a mission of vengeance against the criminal element responsible for the slaughter of his family. You can do a campy version of him just like you can do a campy version of Batman, but there's also a reason why The Dark Knight and Batman: The Animated Series are the most highly-respected and successful renditions of the character. I would much sooner see a version of The Lone Ranger without Tonto at all than a version where Tonto is constantly making fun of the stupid white man.