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Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp made Disney an obscene amount of money with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, but the Mouse House was really worried about the costs for their potentially $275-million big-screen treatment of Lone Ranger. There was so much skepticism that some reports considered the project scrapped, but a few weeks ago we heard that things were looking up.
Disney is now prepared to move ahead with the film with production beginning in February. Deadline Hollywood reports that Depp, Verbinski, and Jerry Bruckheimer, who’ll produce the film, adjusted their deals. The film’s budget is now roughly $215 million, which is less than the much riskier $250-million sci-fi epic John Carter, which hits theaters for Disney next year.
Given Depp’s star power and the marketability of the phrase “from the director of Pirates of the Caribbean,” Lone Ranger shouldn’t have any trouble making back its budget globally; it could easily make it back in the States alone. We’ll find out when the film gallops into theaters on the newly announced date of May 31, 2013.