Oh, F*ck You Jerry Bruckheimer
A little over a month ago, I predicted that Disney would actually end up making the Lone Ranger movie that it sh*tcanned because it was too expensive, focused on Tonto, and inexplicably had werewolves in it. Well, turns out I was right for once, and I still hate myself.
Well, it took a week longer than I thought it would, but Disney has finally reached a meeting of the minds on The Lone Ranger with director Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The studio is expected to formalize a new start date imminently and announce it is moving forward and putting Depp back in the saddle as Tonto, with Armie Hammer as the title character. It looked like the studio was going to announce last week when the picture brightened for the film, but it will be this week’s business instead. I don’t think Disney was able to salvage its December 21 release date because production won’t start in New Mexico until early next year.
The original plan was to begin shooting this fall. That was until, as Deadline revealed on August 12, the studio shockingly pulled the plug on a project it feared could come in at between $250 million-$275 million. The risk of such a figure on a Western became more glaring after Cowboys & Aliens had just turned in a severely disappointing domestic gross, to be followed by an even worse offshore performance, proving the adage that most Westerns don’t travel well. Cowboys & Aliens will be a costly money-loser, 50% shouldered by DreamWorks and the other half split between Universal and Relativity Media. On Lone Ranger, there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes drama as the three principal players made concessions in their deals, and worked on the script to salvage the spectacle that made the movie worth making in the first place while bringing the budget down to a more manageable figure in the $215 million range.
Only in Hollywood could spending $215MM instead of $250MM on a movie that looks like a burrito turd be considered a bargain. This movie reunites the awesome trio (Depp, Bruckheimer, Verbinski) who brought you the craptastic second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies, in the process creating an un-killable movie sh*tmonster that re-surfaces every four years to rob people around the world of their hard earned money and kill countless brain cells.
Prepare for a million derp-tastic sequels over next decade in which Tonto battles vampires, zombies, and the dark lord Cthulu. I’d feel sorry for the citizens of the world, but honestly I feel like we all deserve this.