The Lone Ranger dies, or perhaps not
News arrived late last week that Disney had pulled the plug on their feature film version of The Lone Ranger, the reasons were unclear but it would seem that the main one being cited is that of hard cash, something that seems rather surprising considering all we're talking about here is a western.
No spaceships, aliens, large scale vehicles, crazy stunts and such, just some characters playing it out in a standard western environment. So where's the expense? The cast.
What seems really strange is that the cast budget for The Lone Ranger is what sunk the film at Disney. That will be the studio responsible for Pirates of the Caribbean and the recent surprise of creating another instalment, without the previous expensive names of Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom and others, but pulling in brand new actors who are equally well known and recognisable and delivering another star studded film filled with special effects and overseas locations.
Now if they can make Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with names like Penélope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush and Ian McShane, not to mention Johnny Depp himself, recreating old pirate ships at sea, magical effects and stunning island locations, why can't they make a western with two lead characters?
Well it boils down to the cast apparently. Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and the rumoured cast were going to be costing too much, so Disney dropped the project.
How can that compare to Pirates? I don't see it.
L.A. Times has the story of the project being pulled but Variety through Blastr returns pointing caution, saying that the team behind the film are keen to have it made and look like they are going to try again.
Apparently they have sources in the studio that say the project isn't so dead. The plug has been pulled on this production but Disney aren't finished with it and that both sides are keen to see a resolution come to the budget problems to try and get it to a more manageable US $200 million.
Yes, I said $200 million. That's the Lone Ranger budget, and if that's going on salaries I have to think that the cast is going to be unbelievable.