Disney’s ‘Lone Ranger’ Finally Ready To Move Forward Again [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated October 13th, 2011 at 5:32 am,

Lone Ranger Movie Cancelled Disneys Lone Ranger Finally Ready To Move Forward Again [Updated]

Lone Ranger fans breathed a sigh of relief when director Gore Verbinski’s film adaptation – with Johnny Depp slated to star – collapsed this past summer. Those same people started scratching their heads when the reason for the cancellation was revealed: namely, because the western was budgeted at $250 million (or more) and was set to feature… werewolves.

Word got out a couple weeks back that the project is still alive and largely intact (shape-changing human/canines and all…). Today, we have further confirmation that Verbinski’s Lone Ranger is indeed moving forward again.

Deadline has been keeping tabs on Lone Ranger‘s status for months now and says that Verbinski, Depp, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer – a.k.a. the “brain trust” behind the first Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy – have met with Disney officials about the former project. It appears all but official now that the Ranger movie will begin production in early 2012, with a reduced $215 million budget in place.

UPDATE: Deadline is now reporting that Disney has its eye on a February 6th, 2012 production start date for Lone Ranger.

Depp remains onboard to portray the American Indian, Tonto – who will reportedly be the true protagonist of Lone Ranger – while Armie Hammer remains attached to play the famous masked cowboy. Ruth Wilson is likewise set as the film’s female lead, though we’ve not yet heard whether supporting players like Helena Bonham Carter are still involved or have passed on the project.

The Lone Ranger script – which was penned by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road), working from an earlier draft by PotC writing duo Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio – has been tinkered with a bit, so as to reduce its estimated budget. For the record, though, Lone Ranger is still expected to cost at least $50 million more than this summer’s sci-fi/western mashup, Cowboys & Aliens.

While people like Verbinski and Depp have agreed to take a pay cut in order to lower the costs of Lone Ranger, the film will still boast plenty of big action set pieces – at least one massive train chase sequence is probably in order – and some costly CGI, on a scale with the Pirates movies (hence the similarly-massive budget).

tonto lone ranger Disneys Lone Ranger Finally Ready To Move Forward Again [Updated]

Lone Ranger will apparently focus largely on American Indian spirituality and mythicism – which is the reason behind the inclusion of “werewolves” and Depp’s Tonto being the real star. While that actually sounds potentially cool on its own, the thing infuriating Lone Ranger fans is that… well, that has very little to do with the classic Ranger mythology. So why not just drop the title, rename the characters, and make this project a more original western that happens to star one of the world’s most bankable actors (ie. Depp)?

The answer? Because Lone Ranger is an established brand name that makes this project look all the more lucrative on paper. Disney theoretically could’ve saved itself a lot of hassle by developing this as as a cheaper western – one that got rid of the blockbuster set pieces, still starred Depp, and offered a more authentic celebration of American Indian culture – but, oh well…

Lone Ranger will probably be officially rescheduled for a Summer 2013 theatrical release date. We’ll let you know when/if that happens.

Source: Deadline

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  1. This is one pathetic lost opportunity
    and one abomination of a resurrection.

    As a die-hard fan of The Lone Ranger
    I will be rooting for this film to
    fail on general principles.

  2. Bummer, I thought they were going to do the story about the satanic cults and child ritual abuse. I guess I’ll have to settle for werewolves.

  3. I guess in the sequel he’ll battle vampires, then trolls. Gimme a break!

    • of that kit kat bar

      • Is that the same bar next to the theater? I’ll need a bottle of Jack to get through this movie. :-)

  4. I guess good ol character driven westerns are no longer accepted. I thought Wild Wild West told hollywood that CGI & outrageous characters dont mix well with classic westerns. Would be dope if somebody could do a short web series on The Lone Ranger like Keven Tacheron(?) did with Mortal Kombat. Sorta of a prequel thing. And a Jonah Hex while your at it.

  5. Lets also not forget a little thing like there being no werewolves in American Indian Mythology. /facepalm.

    Just because the Lone Ranger fires silver bullets does NOT make it a good idea to just toss a purely European legend into the mix.

    • I guess they could say that since the Europeans immigrated to the US, the curse also came with them. Not trying to defend this bleep decision, just pointing out how they may approach it.

    • Yea man. There hundreds of other ways to retcon silver bullets into they myth. Maybe the Native American tribe that saved
      the Ranger lived upon a large silver mine. Thus when decides to return he is makes a cache of bullets outta silver. Anything but werewolves.

    • Actually they are called skin walkers and they are not actually werewolves, they are animals that take on human shape.

      • uhm yeah, kinda already knew that ><

        (and they are humans who can take animal forms 😉 )

        Not to mention they can shift into a variety of animals, aren't tied to lunar cycles AND are not susceptible to silver.

  6. I sure hope this movie fails or it’s gonna be another ( American) Godzilla film

    • Oh! There is gonna be another (American) Godzilla film. And it’s not this one. Gareth Edwards (Monsters) is in line to direct it for Lionsgate.

  7. Native Americans and werewolves. My Twlight sence is tingling. I guess even Disney isnt above trying to cash in on the Twlight popularity.

  8. I have absolutely nothing against the Werewolves!

    I’m very excited about Disney’s The Lone Ranger and I hope they keep the ‘Werewolves’ in!

    Many people trashed on Pirates of the Caribbean before it was released due to the subjects of ‘zombie pirates’ but now the movies have proven a big blockbuster success with a firth Pirates in the works. I’m sure the same shall hold true for The Lone Ranger with Werewolves and a Big Thunder Mountain tie-in.

    • Firth? Well, it is about the sea and pirates, so I guess a firth pirate movie about an inlet can work. 😀

      I remember seeing the trailer for the first Pirates, with the zombies, and thought it was cool. I don’t remember anyone trashing it.

  9. As a long time fan of The Lone Ranger story(not counting that last feature film and the TV movie)with this stank story, they should have not bothered
    to resurrected the project! I say get a new story line or let it DIE!!!

  10. The Lone Ranger is dead before production. I vow to not support stupidity of this sort. This type of ingnorance is perpetuated by people who will go just to check it out, and then wonder for the rest of their lives why.

    One must ask themselves why Disney would spend $50 million on a movie that will be a flop. I see it already. Johnny Depp is not a reason to waste money. Wild Wild West [one of my childhood] favorite shows was destroyed and made into the most stupid movie. I feel someone owes the public an appology for Wild Wild West and should remake a good one. It would not be hard todo. Was Will Smith worth wasting that money? The first Incredible Hulk was a waste, but atleast they made an appology remake.

    I am furious that Hollywood is creating bad movies for the sake of making a movie. We all know Hollywood is in trouble. They are going broke and most studios are looking at moving to Louisana (the new L-a). The only movies that make money are Super Hero and sports movies. Why then take an iconic chacter and destroy it. What does Disney have against the Lone Ranger.

    Disney, abandon this project for you own financial security and to prove that Walt Disney still live somewhere in your perverted company.

    I encourage no one to see this movie as it will spark a equally failed sequel. Why do they make sequels from box office failures?