What the hell is going on with Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger? The production was shut down at one point due to its high budget of $250 million dollars. Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer ended up cutting out a few of the big budget action sequences, as well as their own upfront fees to get the budget down to something Disney would work with. They got the cost of the film down to around $215 million, which I thought was still way too much money for a western. Disney decided to move forward with the project, and it went into production in February.
Today we've learned that the movie has once again hit big budgeting issues. According to inside sources the movie is weeks behind its 120-day shooting schedule, and the cost has rocketed past the revised budget of $215 million. Apprently it has gone over it's original budget of $250 million! Holy crap! What in the hell kind of movie are they making? Big budget sc-fi and superhero films like The Avengers have been made for less! I don't see how they are spending that kind of money on a western, and chances are the movie isn't going to do very well at the box office.
THR explains that, "Period trains are a huge element in the movie, say sources, and Verbinski opted for the production to construct its own locomotives from scratch rather than employ existing railroad vehicles. Plus, several sources say the project has experienced severe weather disruptions, including wind and dust storms that damaged the pricey set."
One insider says that the budget is up to a number the studio doesn't want, and they are asking Verbinski to cut even more scenes from the film. According to THR's report he already had to cut a major train sequence in the first round of edits, and more rewrites are curently being worked on. Apparently the director almost always goes over budget on his films.
Why does Verbinski need to build his own trains? That's just a ridiculous waste of money. Look, I love a good western, and the thing I like about them the most is the solidly badass stories they tell. You don't need big budget special effects to tell a great story, apparently that's something Verbinski hasn't learned. So basically from what I'm gathering from this budget madness is... Verbinski is sacrificing whatever story they had for big spectacular effects. I'm convinced they could have made an incredible Lone Ranger movie for under a $100 million, all they needed was a great story. This is a mess, and in the end The Lone Ranger is most likely going to end up being a mediocre movie at best. I guess we'll see if Johnny Depp's star power can help the film make it's money back.
What do you think about all this Lone Ranger budget insanity?