Disney shuts down production on The Lone Ranger

Shock as the Johnny Depp vehicle is dumped

In a thoroughly surprisingly move, Disney has shut down production on The Lone Ranger, the Johnny Depp-starrer that was set to be a winter 2012 tentpole.

Deadline broke the news, citing budgetary concerns as the main halting factor. Apparently the budget, which has been reduced to somewhere north of $200m, was still too high for Disney.

It seems there are other projects sapping the Disney dollar, with John Carter requiring considerable reshoots, and Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great And Powerful also needing a hefty amount of financial backing (again, circling the $200m mark).

It seems that The Lone Ranger was the easiest project to kill, even though it had already racked up pre-production expenses, and Johnny Depp's 'pay or play' contract means he'll still be picking up his cheque even if the film doesn't go ahead.

This cancellation still comes as a huge surprise though, not least because it reunites the Pirates Of The Caribbean team of Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

And that's not to mention the cast they had in place, with Armie Hammer set to play the title character, and Helena Bonham Carter on board as a brothel madam.

Right now, it's uncertain whether or not Bruckheimer will try to shop the project to another studio.

A number of ambitious projects have been dumped recently, including Guillermo del Toro's At The Mountains Of Madness and Ron Howard's The Dark Tower, but none seemed as bankable as Ranger.

If we get any news on a potential saviour for this project, you'll here about it here.

Did The Lone Ranger sound like a risky project to you? Or do you think the team behind the lucrative Pirates movies should be given free rein to do whatever they want? Talk to us below...


    • mcghater

      Aug 13th 2011, 13:06

      the bigger surprise is that dark tower has gone....why am i just finding this out now

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    • GarthMarenghi

      Aug 13th 2011, 16:12

      Can't say I'm too broken up about this. Maybe now Depp will be free to start making a few proper films between soul-sapping Disney flicks. I would love him to start using his clout to help his pal Terry Gilliam become more prolific - Depp would be great as the Defective Detective now he's a bit older, and of course I live in hope of seeing The Man Who Killed Don Quixote one day before I die!

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    • Hadouken76

      Aug 13th 2011, 18:51

      no Dark Tower or Mountains of Madness? But they allowed the last 3 steaming piles of POTC to excrete into one almight barrel of bottom gravy? Boggles the mind.

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    • MattMorris

      Aug 13th 2011, 22:28

      For f**ks sake! $200m budgets for s**te. It p**ses me off big time. The cheapest part of any film is a good script. How about they make ten $20m films of original thinking scripts. Necessity is the mother of invention. Instead of s***king ridiculous amounts on toy franchises dressed up as stories can we not see what the supposed creatives of tinseltown are actually capable of.

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    • Elbee80

      Aug 13th 2011, 22:38

      I never watched the original series, but it's a shame this has been cancelled as it sounded like it could of been quite fun

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    • Porkchopexpress

      Aug 14th 2011, 14:30

      A $200 million dollar budget about two blokes riding horses? Seriously I'd struggle to spend that much, how much of that would have been the cast wages? Oh that's right Depp gets paid regardless of whether the film gets made or not, would have been better to rethink the film into a tighter budget as opposed to just cancelling it. Now it's an out and out loss, Depp hasn't stretched his acting muscles far since 'Donnie Brasco', here's hoping he resorts to a bit more low key indie fare and bury Jack Sparrow once and for all.

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    • GarthMarenghi

      Aug 14th 2011, 15:56

      @dalidab1982 - I'm actually a big fan of Tim Burton, so I don't want them to end their run of collaborations, just mix it up a bit. @Porkchopexpress - I think Depp has challenged himself in recent years - Sweeney Todd was a difficult performance, and Public Enemies was a marked change of pace - just not often enough for my liking. I wouldn't have a problem with the blockbusters on his resume if they were actually any good. I would definitely hope that when we FINALLY get to see his Bruce Robinson movie The Rum Diaries (or did that already come out and I missed it?), he might be inspired to make a few more little films like that, especially if they're with Gilliam (who has far too few movies on his resume for such a talented man).

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    • Ali1748

      Aug 14th 2011, 18:02

      Hadouken all of those Pirates movies made Disney a gargantuan amount of cash.

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    • ScottFree

      Aug 15th 2011, 10:30

      If they cancel the Lone Ranger and others in favour of making another POTC...I'll personally come over to the states to strangle Mickey Mouse...!!!

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