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Johnny Depp has already garnered a lot of attention for his portrayal as Tonto in The Lone Ranger and the movie isn’t even out yet. In fact, it’s run into a few big problems, including being over budget – even after adjustments and being delayed by half a year.
When The Lone Ranger first approached the monumental $250 million mark while still filming, those working on it were able to make enough cutbacks to reduce the budget to $215 million. However, it recently climbed back up to the quarter-million mark, and Disney executives are becoming exasperated.
“It’s out of control,” an insider told The Hollywood Reporter.
Disney CEO Robert Inger spoke last summer on the subject of the movie’s budget and how their inability to stay within the constraints of the budget has got Disney thinking about the type of movie overall that they are willing to do moving forward. Although Disney denies the $250 million number, the price must be high to have the CEO talking like that.
"It's our intention to take a careful look at what films cost," Inger said. "If we can't get them to a level that we're comfortable with, we think that we're better off actually reducing the size of our slate than making films that are bigger and increasingly more risky."
Disney risks seem to be paying off overall; despite taking a huge loss on last year’s budget buster John Carter, the studio more than made up for it with The Avengers, which is the third-highest grossing movie of all time.
The Lone Ranger is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Gore Verbinski, the latter of whom also directed the Disney blockbuster hit (also staring Depp) Pirates of the Caribbean. Also starring in The Lone Ranger is Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger and Helena Bonham Carter.
Filming began last February in New Mexico but is currently weeks behind schedule with multiple script rewrites attempting to cut and change scenes to lower overall costs. Originally, the script included supernatural creatures like werewolves in scenes bringing Native American myths to life. Those scenes have been cut, but the most expensive actions scenes, including “the biggest train sequence in film history” was kept.
The movie was originally scheduled to be released December 23, but it’s now been moved to next summer.