Principal photography on Disney's Lone Ranger is still ongoing after four months. However, producer Jerry Bruckheimer has announced that the Johnny Depp western is finally nearing the completion of production.
It might not seem like an extraordinary accomplishment; that is, until you consider that Lone Ranger was almost cancelled over budget concerns - accompanied by rumors that director Gore Verbinski might get the boot - and all this before filming got going amidst negative buzz over a $215 million price tag, rumors of supernatural elements, changes to the Ranger mythos, and the casting of Depp as Tonto.
Bruckheimer has been keeping the public up-to-date on Lone Ranger's progress via his official blog. The latest entry includes the following information (along with set photos from shooting locations such as Monument Valley):
Almost done with filming of The Lone Ranger. 125 days of shooting seemed to fly by. We dealt with winds up to 70 mph, rain, snow, and even wildfires but nothing has stopped us from filming this incredible movie.
The cast has been absolutely amazing and we could not have asked for a better crew. Everyone has been extremely dedicated in making this film a major success. We have a few more filming days back in California and then post-production goes into high gear. Before we know it, it will be July 3rd, 2013 and we can’t wait to share this incredible film with everyone.
The train tracks shown in the gallery below are but a segment of a 5-mile circular railway laid down for Lone Ranger, so that production could continue without the added task of moving the massive historically-authentic train(s) constructed for the film. Indeed, the development of period-correct locomotives is rumored to have extended the production process, while also sending the budget ballooning back to upwards of $250 million.
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A teaser for Lone Ranger was shown during Disney's Comic-Con 2012 panel; its focus was primarily on footage of said trains in action, along with majestic shots of arid landmarks photographed in areas such as Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Rest assured, this film will imbue classic tropes of the Old West genre with a contemporary sense of blockbuster grandeur - then again, that may be the only aspect of Verbinski's vision that no one has voiced sensible doubt about.
Lone Ranger rides into theaters on July 3rd, 2013.