August 17, 2011

Disney may revive Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger isn't dead yet. Like a werewolf that removes the stake from its heart, or a spirit that rises from the Indian burial ground, the movie may live on.

The Lone Ranger Ditches The Werewolves And Slashes The Budget, But Still May Not Get Made

Lone Ranger may get back in the saddle soon

Comment:  The first article, only four paragraphs long, is worth reading in full. The key points:

  • Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski took a total of $10 million in pay cuts to rescue The Lone Ranger. That shows how padded the budget is--how much money is wasted on unnecessary talent. All because Disney has focused on the success of the Pirates movies rather than the failure of other Depp and Verbinski projects.

  • The Lone Ranger needs to make around $800 million worldwide to break even. But Rango, another Western starring Depp, has made only $242 million worldwide. Why would anyone think The Lone Ranger will be four times as successful as Rango with the same star? Only 30 movies have made that much money in history.

  • They've apparently jettisoned the expensive supernatural elements, but are still keeping "three huge action sequences that revolve around trains," including "the biggest train sequence in film history." In other words, they don't exactly have a polished script if they start filming in a few weeks. Indeed, it sounds like they're making it up as they go along. It sounds like another Jonah Hex debacle in the making.

    More "original" ideas

    This led me to post the following snarky comments on Facebook:

    Depp and company plan to throw darts for next high-concept idea. Zombies? Aliens? Giant mechanical spiders? Why not?

    They thought about including a magical ring, a school of wizards, or the Titanic--all proven marketable ideas--but couldn't see a way to make them work. "Maybe big robots that convert into mechanical horses," mused Depp. "That hasn't been done before, has it?"

    I see Depp envisioning Tonto as a smart, sly, hipster Indian: "He'll be totally cool like Captain Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, and the Mad Hatter, but totally different." Then the creative team coming up with a story as an afterthought. Silver bullets? Werewolves! Too expensive? Great train robbery! Did we rule out vampires? Focus!


    For more on the subject, see Werewolves Doomed Lone Ranger and Disney Shuts Down Lone Ranger.

    Below:  Captain Jack Tonto.

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