It’s more likely than not a temporary shutdown, but as of now, pre-production on The Lone Ranger, scheduled to shoot in October, has been halted, with many sources citing budgetary concerns. Apparently the price tag for the film has ballooned way past its $200 million target, and now studio execs are looking to bring it back down to Earth, which can’t be easy given director Gore Verbinski‘s penchant for the overblown, as well as Johnny Depp’s redicky-donky salary.
Though it probably has little to do with the shutdown, an announcement was made earlier this week that Brad Pitt‘s World War Z was going head to head with the Disney project, also picking a release date of December 21, 2012.
The project, though initially met with eye-rolling over another adaptation, seemed to be pulling in some quality actors in the way of Dwight Yoakam, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Barry Pepper. Shifting popular sentiment to “cautiously optimistic,” which on the internet, is equivalent to walking on water.
While the budget trimming makes sound financial sense, I can’t imagine a world in which a Johnny Depp Disney film fails to be profitable. Maybe they just don’t trust that Armie Hamer kid. Did you know there weren’t even two of him in The Social Network? He deceived us.