Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Canceling The Lone Ranger; Galleys

Ed here: I bet those old Lone Ranger TV episodes didn't cost more than six or seven million apiece. :)

Shutting Down The Lone Ranger

By Lee Pfeiffer of Cinema Retro

"Studios are cracking down on pet projects of big name directors by canceling some high profile productions because of budget costs. Ron Howard and Guillermo Del Toro are among the recent "victims". Now Disney has informed producer Jerry Bruckheimer and star Johnny Depp that their long-planned Lone Ranger film is being shut down. Filming was to start in October- but Disney execs got cold feet when the estimated budget hit $232 million. The studio is insisting that the film cost no more than $200. This is how insane Hollywood has become: $200 million for a movie about a guy on horse and it's considered to be too paltry of a sum. The question remains whether Bruckheimer and Depp will have their egos bruised and scale down the budget in order to make the movie. As of right now, it's officially off Disney's schedule. The underwhelming performance of Cowboys & Aliens has the studio nervous- and there are other factors as well. Disney is sinking a jaw-dropping $250 million into next year's John Carter sci-fi epic and there is also the $200 million Oz: The Great and Powerful in the pipeline. Saying "no" to Johnny Depp is almost unheard of in the industry, especially when he has brought billions into Disney's coffers through the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. However, his track record outside of that series is spotty at best and the suits at Disney aren't about to invest a king's ransom just to please him."

Then Lee links to: and writer Gregory Ellwood

"Starring Depp as Tonto and "The Social Network's" Armie Hammer as the masked Western hero, "Ranger" was expected to be one of the studio's major tentpoles for December 2012. The film's budget, however, was said to be hovering at around $232 million and that was just too rich for Disney's tastes. Especially considering the dubious prospects for next year's "John Carter" (a stunning $250 million plus budget) and their $200 million investment in Sam Raimi's "Oz: The Great and Powerful." And yet, this is still bizarre considering Bruckheimer and Depp's billion dollar track record on the "Pirates" series and the $1 billion dollar gross for Depp's "Alice in Wonderland" in 2010. The fact Depp could even help the audience-unfriendly "The Tourist" hit $278 million worldwide can't be disputed either. With Will Smith still on his personal sabbatical Depp is absolutely the biggest draw in the world. So, why would Disney get so skittish about a Johnny Depp adventure movie? Perhaps "Cowboys & Aliens" contributed to their thinking.

for the rest go here:


Last night I ran a review of my new novel (Oct) Bad Moon Rising. If you don't regularly review my books, have a blog and will review the book I have eighteen galleys I can send. is my e address. Please put GALLEYS in the subject line (don't want to get spammed) and include your snail mail address. Thanks, Ed

Bad Moon Rising
*Starred Review

Ed Gorman. Pegasus (Norton, dist.), $25 (208p) ISBN 978-1-60598-260-1

Social turmoil overshadows the sleuthing in Gorman’s excellent ninth Sam McCain mystery (after 2009’s A Ticket to Ride). In 1968, a hippie commune near Black River Falls, Iowa, both horrifies and entices the townsfolk with its uninhibited lifestyle. Sardonic lawyer and investigator McCain becomes involved after the discovery of the body of Vanessa Mainwaring, the teenage daughter of a well-to-do local, at the commune, and a Vietnam vet who’s one of its members flees. Interference by a bigoted sheriff, an opportunistic preacher, and a hysterical father makes matters even worse as Sam tries not just to solve the murder but to help the people around him caught in an intensely stressful situation. The real crime, as Sam eventually realizes, is how one generation exploits the next—while the younger generation devours itself. In turn mellow and melancholy, this book grapples with problems that are too complex for any detective to untangle. (Oct.)


Anonymous said...

I like Johnny Depp, but I had my doubts when they announced he'd be playing Tonto.

Hollywood budgets ARE nuts. I worked at one of the major animation studios for two years in the 90s, and it amazed me how much money was thrown around to no visible effect. Now anyone can make an animated movie on a computer that looks every bit as good as the big guys. Someday someone will have a feature-length hit that way, and hopefully the paradigm will shift.

The money these studios drop could be used to ...oh, stop famine in the Sudan, among other things.

Jeff P.

michael said...

Then you read how such films as "Pirates of the Caribbean 4" made Billions for the studio and you can see why 200 million is not that out of line.

Remember those big budget films (Disney exec calls the "tentpole films") make money beyond American box office, overseas take, and DVD-downloading-streaming. There are the toys, rides at Disneyland, etc.

But as the Disney exec was quoted (at Deadline Hollywood), you can't afford many of those types of films at the same time.