Disney drops Lone Ranger film weeks before filming

Aug 14, 2011
Jonathan Harwood

The studio has pulled the plug on the project, starring Johnny Depp, because of rising costs

Disney's long-awaited Lone Ranger film starring Johnny Depp has been canned, weeks before filming was due to start.

Deadline Hollywood reported that the studio pulled the plug because of rising costs. It claimed that the bill for the film was likely to be as much as $275m, well over the $200m that Disney had banked on.

Depp was due to star as the Lone Ranger's sidekick, Tonto, in the movie. Armie Hammer was set to play the hero.

Gore Verbinski, who worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean films and the animated movie Rango, which also starred Depp, had been lined up to direct the film. Jerry Bruckheimer was to be the producer.

Deadline Hollywood says that Disney baulked at paying so much money on a project with no guarantee of success. "Is it coincidence that The Lone Ranger [was] halted right after another Western, Cowboys & Aliens, proved a pricey disappointment for DreamWorks and Universal?" it asked.

It is not the first time Depp has been involved with an overbudget project that never reached fruition. He was also lined up to star in Terry Gillam's failed film adaptation of Don Quixote.

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