Over the weekend it was reported that Walt Disney Pictures halted production on The Long Ranger, a film adaptation of the classic 1950’s TV series. The film was to star Armie Hammer as the titular western hero with Johnny Depp as his Native American sidekick, Tonto. Shooting was set to begin this fall. Ballooning production costs (250+ million. On a Western no less) and an increasingly expensive upcoming slate for the studio supposedly resulted an immediate pulling of the plug.
Variety is now reporting that Disney still plans to move forward on the project but is in the process of bringing down costs in order to do so.
The horror… Depp may have to work for $30 million instead of $50 million. The bad economy is hurting him too. Honestly, how the hell is a western, let alone, the friggen Lone Ranger, costing so much? Did the horses unionize or something? Joking aside, I would assume, based off the budget that Disney was in the mindset that visual effect films bring in the big dollars. While I agree vapid visual effect heavy films make fortunes (I.E. Transformers), but this is a ye’ old Western. There is need of ridiculously overly expensive visual effects and expensive and pointless 3D. All you need is a good story and a backlot full of tumbleweeds.