Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger has gone through all manner of rigmarole since its inception – not the least of which was the inclusion of mystical werewolves (or should we say “supernatural coyotes”?) and a radically ballooning budget as a result.

But those werewolves/coyotes – among other expensive items– have since been cut from the film in order for it to be greenlit, or so they say. Now, finally, Lone Ranger will begin shooting next month in New Mexico.

Check out a portion of the press release below from New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Film Office:

January 13, 2012 SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Film Office announced today that Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ ‘The Lone Ranger,’ directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp, will begin principal photography in New Mexico in February 2012, with production planned in and around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Shiprock and other locations around the state through the middle of August 2012.

“The Lone Ranger is proof that New Mexico’s film industry is alive and well,” said Governor Martinez. “This administration is committed to fostering productive relationships with film studios so we can continue to offer our talented workforce and breathtaking backdrops for major productions. As we continue to build upon our reputation as a premier film production center, we are pleased to welcome The Lone Ranger to our state.”

[…]

The Lone Ranger is directed by Gore Verbinski, produced by Jerry Bruckeimer, and features an all-star cast with Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid, the Lone Ranger. The Lone Ranger is a thrilling action adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.

That last paragraph almost makes it sound like a buddy-cop movie set in the wild, wild west, which isn’t automatically a bad thing.

It’s unclear at this point how much of the mystical aspect of Gore Verbinski’s Lone Ranger will remain in the final product. One thing you can probably count on is that Tonto, as played by Johnny Depp, will likely be the protagonist to Armie Hammer’s sort-of-sidekick Lone Ranger (a la the tangentially-related Green Hornet). Other things you can expect: The rip-roaring adventure and comedy hijinks that Bruckheimer, Verbinski, and Depp made so popular in their Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy.

Alas, if Lone Ranger turn out to be a box-office failure, one thing you should not expect is another big-budget western film for a very long time – especially after Cowboys & Aliens’ lukewarm success.

Are you guys looking forward to Gore Verbinski’s fresh new take on The Lone Ranger? Let us know in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

The Lone Ranger is expected to hit theaters May 31st, 2013.