Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The script was written (and approved) by all concerned.
The stars, including Johnny Depp as Tonto, were cast.
Sets were being built in New Mexico.
Pre-production was well underway.
Then, someone at Disney yelled "STOP!"
The producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, was told he would have to cut $40 million from his already-approved budget of $250 million.
Was it because of the less-than-stellar box office for Cowboys & Aliens?
According to the LA Times: "Cowboys & Aliens made them (Disney executives) start quaking in their boots over big budgets," said Brandon Gray, creator and president of BoxOfficeMojo.com, a website that tracks worldwide ticket sales. "It was High Noon at Buena Vista."
Oddly enough, The Lone Ranger also would've been a cross-genre western, this time with werewolves (which makes sense, since silver can slay lycanthropes, and the Ranger uses silver bullets)!
Besides the location shooting in New Mexico, The Lone Ranger had reserved several soundstages at Albuquerque Studios which, ironically, are currently being used for another big-budget Disney film; The Avengers!
Let's see what develops...