Disney Schedules The Lone Ranger and Pushes Back Thor 2; Johnny Depp Talks Tonto
10.13.11 by Ryan
Back in August, Disney's adaptation of The Lone Ranger looked like it was in big trouble as the studio shut down pre-production on the movie. Despite putting together the Pirates of the Caribbean dream trio of actor Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer for The Lone Ranger, the $250 million budget ultimately made Disney too nervous.
Last month, concessions were made and Verbinski and company were able to bring the budget down to a more agreeable $215 million (which still seems like a lot of money for a Lone Ranger movie, but we digress), which put the movie back in production. According to a recent interview with MTV, Depp said that the budget bargaining was all a part of the plan.
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.
And fix it they did, as Deadline reports that Disney has given The Lone Ranger a release date of May 31, 2013. That's just five months from the movie's initial release date of December 21, 2012.
Production on The Lone Ranger will begin in February with Armie Hammer (The Social Network) cast in the title role, and Depp set to play Tonto, the Lone Ranger's sidekick. Or is Tonto the sidekick? During Depp's MTV interview, he said he didn't see Tonto that way.
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.
Whether it's related to the scheduling of Lone Ranger or not, Disney has also decided to reschedule the release of Thor 2. Initially set to open on July 26, 2103, Disney has now set the sequel to open on November 15, 2013.
Since purchasing Marvel in 2009, Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 will be the first of Marvel's movies that Disney will distribute, and with Iron Man 3 opening a few weeks before The Lone Ranger on May 3, it's possible the studio decided to have more time in-between its first two Marvel comic book movies.