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.
How this budget cut will effect the final product, or if will result in a delay of production remains to be seen.
On a completely superficial level, this movie makes me think of Firefly and Serenity, which did an amazing job with the sci-fi western genre.
Universal Pictures has released an extended sneak peek of the upcoming movie, Cowboys & Aliens, out in theaters on July 29, 2011. The film has strong leads and this extended trailer is definitely eye-catching. It all comes down to how well director Jon Favreau executes this move and sticks his landing.
It won’t be another Firefly, but here’s hoping it’s a worthy addition to this nerdtastic genre!
SILLOF is a very talented custom action figure creator. Pictured above is his version of a western Star Wars. The concept isn’t new or exciting (Everyone these days is Steam-punking this or Samurai-ing that) but his figures are true works of art. SILLOF captures the feeling of the original characters and makes you believe. One feature I loved about his site is the action figure of himself in his “About SILLOF” page.
That is cool, if your gonna be a kick-ass action figure maker then you should have your own action figure! You can click through the jump to see each individual Western Wars figure up close but before you do that let me tell you what really got my Nerdbastard juices going. SILLOF’s other custom action figure collections. He has the sets up for sale on his site. Don’t be drinking anything hot while you check the prices though, you might burn something, but don’t get me wrong, these are one of a kind pieces of artwork and as such command such prices.
Check out the full roster below, and head over to Sillof’s site for more awesomeness.