We let you know a few weeks ago that Disney was still debating their decision on the fate of Gore Verbinski’s big budget blockbuster The Lone Ranger, and it looks like they may have made their decision. Deadline.com is reporting that Disney has agreed to put the film back into production, with an official announcement regarding the start of production expected early next week.
Production on the film was initially stopped last month when Disney grew hesitant of the film’s ballooning budget, especially following the poor reception of Universal’s similarly themed film Cowboys and Aliens. Disney has since been in negotiations with star Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and they are expected to reach a final decision early next week. Assuming that Disney decides to go ahead with the film, the film, which is set to star Armie Hammer in the title role with Depp as his sidekick Tonto, is likely to begin shooting as early as January or February 2012.
According to reports, the film’s initial budget of $250 million has since been reined in to around $215 million, with deals for Depp, Verbinski, and Bruckheimer being reworked. With Depp and Verbinski previously partnering with Disney on the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, it seems unlikely that Disney would be unwilling to negotiate with the duo, especially considering that Depp has stated he will not make the film without Verbinski. There hasn’t been any word yet on whether this will change the film’s previous release date of December 21, 2012.
Stay tuned for updates on this fledgling film and Disney’s official decision of whether or not it will move forward. Are you excited to see The Lone Ranger back in production again? Let us know!