Proving that Hollywood has not exactly learned its lesson about not pumping more and more mega-millions into already bloated budgets and out of control productions (cough, John Carter, cough cough World War Z), it was leaked today that Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger has gone massively over budget (a budget which itself was slashed months ago). Now, the Lone Ranger is once again falling behind schedule, as well as undergoing rewrites and further cuts.
Not only has the Johnny Depp / Armie Hammer-starring update of the classic television program gone over its slashed budget (estimated to be $200 million), but it is now believed to have rocketed past the original $250 million budget that was eventually rejected and slashed. While the combination of Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp has worked in the past (some movie series about pirates, bad acting, and lots of noise), Depp’s last two star turns (The Rum Diary and Dark Shadows) didn’t exactly set the box office on fire.
So, why the increasingly bloated budget? For one thing, Verbinski is, as The AV Club notes, an uncompromising and demanding director—so much so that he has insisted that the locomotives featured in The Lone Ranger be built from scratch, because the casual viewer who goes to see a Johnny Depp-starring update of an old TV is going to be very serious when it comes to the on-screen choo-choos. That said, it’s also noted that Disney has yet to panic about the budget, indicating that they still have some trust in Verbinski to pull this off. Keep coming back for more details!
What do you think of The Lone Ranger news—how much is too much for a budget?