'The Lone Ranger' rides again [updated]
The big-budget film starring Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the title character will restart production Feb. 6, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Walt Disney Studios halted work on the modern retelling of the popular 1949 television western in August, citing budgetary concerns. The filmmakers had been asked to reduce the $250-million budget to reach the $200-million figure Disney had wanted to spend.
A spokesman for the film studio did not respond to requests for comment; however, a person familiar with the situation said the project had been revived. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
Many details remain unclear, including the production budget for the film and the release date. The film originally was scheduled to reach theaters on Dec. 21, 2012.
Update: After settling a dispute over the film's budget, Walt Disney Studios Thursday set a new release date for "The Lone Ranger." The studio said the movie would now reach theaters on May 31, 2013.
Depp has been the studio's most bankable star in recent years, anchoring two films that reaped more than a billion dollars in worldwide box office -- this summer's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and the 2010 film "Alice in Wonderland."
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the team behind the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, will be involved in the project. Verbinski previously clashed with Disney studio executives over cost overruns on the third installment of the "Pirates" franchise and did not direct the most recent sequel.
-- Dawn C. Chmielewski
Photo: John Hart as the Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels as Tonto with their horses Silver and Scout. Credit: the Boyd Magers collection.