Friday, October 14, 2011

THE LONE RANGER Adaptation Moves Forward

It seems that the budget negotiations were successful in the case of "The Lone Ranger". As you may, or may not know, this summer, Walt Disney Pictures pulled the plug on the adaptation of the 1949 television series, because the estimated budget reached the bloated sum of $250 million. Disney did so, despite the fact that the movie was going to reteam the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trio, Johnny Depp, Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer, a team that proved to be very profitable at the box-office. In the last few weeks, after some serious negotiations, Disney green-lit the project after Depp, Verbinski, Bruckheimer and Arnie Hammer all agreed to give up 20% of their remuneration, Bruckheimer agreed to support any costs that exceed the budget, which has now been set at $215M, and screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio ("Pirates of the Caribbean") eliminated some expensive sequences from Justin Haythe's script. If you ask me, the budget is still bloated, especially considering the fact that the movie's original story doesn't seem to justify it. If they could do it in 1949 the way they did and still be able to go on for 5 more seasons, I don't see what they could possibly be doing with it now, that would require a budget comparable to epics like "Lord of the Rings", or "Spiderman 2". Just think about how badly the expensive and over-hyped "Cowboys & Aliens" performed at the box-office.

Anyway, Johnny Depp talked a little about why he absolutely wanted to move forward with "The Lone Ranger", during an MTV interview, when the reporter popped the question. And, just in case your region doesn't allow you to watch the above interview, here's what Depp answered :
"I like the character. I think I have interesting plans for the character, and I think the film itself could be entertaining and very funny. But also I like the idea of having the opportunity to make fun of the idea of the Indian as a sidekick—which has always been [the case] throughout the history of Hollywood, the Native American has always been a second-class, third-class, fourth-class citizen, and I don’t see Tonto that way at all. So it’s an opportunity for me to salute Native Americans.

We knew that the budget was going to be huge initially, and we also knew that it was going to be shut down for a while, and it was kind of like we patiently wait—we shave a little bit here, we do a little bit there, [and] they fix it."


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