Jerry Bruckheimer Opens Up About 'The Lone Ranger' Compromise with Disney

After more ups and downs than a Disneyland roller coaster, The Lone Ranger movie was recently brought back into production by Disney when a compromise was reached between the studio and Jerry Bruckheimer.

Up to now, what happened behind the closed doors has been a mystery as Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski looked to reduce the budget for the movie from $260 million to $215 million.
 
Bruckheimer spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the compromise process, revealing how he trimmed the budget, his thoughts on the new release date and what got cut out of the script.
 
First the budget. Bruckheimer says that getting shut down is a normal process for him, citing past incidents with the first Pirates movie, Armaggedon and Pearl Harbor in which production was suspended because of budget issues. "For me, this is normal. This is: 'Get real. Let’s get the budget where we can make it.'"
 
Extras and crew members were removed as a cost-cutting expense, cutting $10 million from the budget and an additional $8 million was saved by taking advantage of tax incentives in Louisiana and moving the majority of production from New Mexico to the Bayou State. Plans for scenes to be shot in California were also scrapped as an unnecessary expense.
 
The producer, along with Verbinski and Johnny Depp, who stars as Tonto, agreed to deferred payments to save up-front costs. They will all get paid at a later point that Disney negotiated with them.
 
From there, Bruckheimer and Verbinski turned their attention to the script. They decided they wanted to trim as little as possible from what they had. Bruckheimer did reveal that a scene involving a supernatural coyote attack had been removed, though the train sequences (supposedly “the biggest train sequence in film history”) are still intact, albeit trimmed down.
 
"Gore made some sacrifices creatively, but nothing that would hurt the film. We had to work it out. The studio set a number and it was always our responsibility to get to that number."
 
Finally, Bruckheimer touched upon the new release date. Though previously scheduled to open during Christmas 2012 against The Hobbit and World War Z, Disney bumped the release date up to May 31, 2013. Bruckheimer seemed pleased with this serendipitous turn of events.
 
"It’s a better date. Before, we were up against The Hobbit and World War Z. Now we’re a week after Fast and Furious 6 and a couple weeks before Superman. The competition is not as bad. There are a lot of movies jammed in at Christmas. In the summer, you have a longer run."
 
The Lone Ranger will begin shooting February 6th and stars Armie Hammer in the title role.
 
Are you happy to hear the movie is back on track? Will you see it?
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