Disney dumps the ultra-expensive Lone Ranger

Bye bye, Silver. Disney have pulled the plug on Gore Verbinski‘s attempted big-screen rebirth of The Lone Ranger, with Deadline citing the film’s projected $250 million budget a deciding factor for the studio.

Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp were set to star as serial heroes The Lone Ranger and his side-kick Tonto in the Jerry Bruckheimer production. The script by Justin Haythe had already been completed, and a December 2012 release date had been set aside.

Apparently Disney couldn’t bear the thought of spending $250 million on a risky franchise-starter like this (and a Western to boot). Although Verbinski had delivered them the world-beating Pirates franchise, those films suffered from wild budget overruns.

Badass Digest suggests the surprisingly high cost of the film relates to the fact that the film would feature werewolves. Certainly a departure…

Somewhat ironically, this is the second Verbinski project to fall apart because of an inflated price tag. His proposed Bioshock flick was similarly abandoned by Universal in 2010.

It is unknown if Verbinski, Bruckheimer, Depp and Hammer will pick up their spurs and take their project to another studio. But, if Disney can’t afford such an expense, who can?

Discuss: RIP Lone Ranger. You were too beautiful for this world.

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