The Lone Ranger is traveling a bumpy road to the big screen. Ever since its well-publicized budget woes last year, there's been a keen eye on the film's production. It appears now that not only has the film gone over budget again, but it has fallen days, possibly even weeks, behind schedule.
The agreed-upon budget of $215 million has ballooned back up to $250 million, the price tag that prompted Disney to halt the project in the first place. A Disney spokesperson has informed THR that the $250 million number is inaccurate, but the sources say the budget is "up to a number [Disney heads] didn't want."
Reportedly, the main reason for the budget issue is director Gore Verbinski's decision to construct period-accurate locomotives for the film's railroad set pieces, rather than simply remodeling contemporary trains. Verbinski's decision seems to tie in to his vision of making The Lone Ranger a "photo-real" western.
According to THR's source, period trains are a huge element in the movie. Additionally, several sources say filming experienced severe weather disruptions including wind and dust storms that damaged expensive sets.
The film was recently pushed back again from its Memorial Day weekend release date to July 3, 2013. Whether the film ends up being well-received by audiences remains to be seen, but Disney is certainly still cautious considering the loss they took on John Carter. Granted The Avengers has helped make up much of that red ink, but the jury is still out on how successful The Lone Ranger will be.
The first look image drew some negative feedback regarding Johnny Depp's Tonto makeup. We haven't seen any other stills since then. THR also reports that even during filming, rewrites are underway and Verbinski is being asked to cut scenes out to try and get the film back under budget.
Filming is not expected to wrap until August but those who have seen early footage say Verbinski has "a chance to do for Westerns what he did for pirate movies," and make the genre internationally popular.
We'll see if all the numbers crunching is worth the concern or will fans still flock to check out Depp and Armie Hammer in Jerry Bruckheimer's blockbuster. Are the budget and filming issues a concern to you or are you going to check the movie out regardless of how much it costs?