June 13, 2012

Lone Ranger budget soars again

'Lone Ranger' Budget Back Up to $250 Million

Insiders say the Johnny Depp Western, which was cut to $215 million, is well over its revised budget--in addition to possibly being weeks behind its filming schedule.

By Borys Kit
When Disney briefly shut down the Johnny Depp Western The Lone Ranger in August amid concerns about a budget that had ballooned to $250 million, the principals--including Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer--agreed to cut action sequences and their own upfront fees to bring the cost down to about $215 million. Well, don't look now, but Lone Ranger is riding headlong into budget trouble again.

Insiders say the movie, which began shooting Feb. 28 in New Mexico, is not only running days or possibly weeks behind its 120-day shooting schedule, it's also over its revised budget. Several sources say the effects-heavy Lone Ranger is now back at its original cost of $250 million, while one source close to the production says it has surpassed that figure.

"It's up to a number they didn't want," says one insider.

Verbinski is again being asked to cut scenes--he already made such sacrifices as losing a major train sequence in the first round of trims--and rewrites are underway, according to a source. (A Disney spokesperson says the $250 million budget number is inaccurate.)

Many working with Verbinski are not surprised by cost increases. The Pirates of the Caribbean filmmaker is known for budget-busting on many of his projects. Period trains are a huge element in the movie, say sources, and Verbinski opted for the production to construct its own locomotives from scratch rather than employ existing railroad vehicles. Plus, several sources say the project has experienced severe weather disruptions, including wind and dust storms that damaged the pricey set.
Comment:  Building trains from scratch...not to mention the crow wranglers for the flapping birds on Depp's head.

Glad to see they're focusing on what really matters: Tonto's emotional journey as the sidekick of a masked vigilante. Not.

For more on the subject, see Lone Ranger Movie Rides Again and Werewolves Doomed Lone Ranger.


dmarks said...

The budget? I smell another John Carter.

Anonymous said...

Well, not quite. They aren't doing this just as an ill-fated attempt to get women in the theaters. (LOL @ Disney. They thought women wanted a bimbo.)

Instead they're just trying to strip-mine more past for reboots. Now they've gone from "stuff I forgot all about" (He-Man to "stuff I don't think you could really do today" (Smurfs because, well, Cracked did a better analysis of the Smurfs than I could ever do) to "stuff from well before the typical 70s/80s/early 90s era we're used to recycling".