A Johnny Depp Movie Got So Frustratingly Expensive Even Mighty Disney Considered Pulling the Plug

Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski’s 2011 movie struggled with funding and budget.

A Johnny Depp Movie Got So Frustratingly Expensive Even Mighty Disney Considered Pulling the Plug

SUMMARY

  • Following his collaboration with Disney and Gore Verbinski for Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp was sought to make The Lone Ranger in 2011.
  • However, according to Deadline reports, the film faced issues with funding and budget that ended up delaying the release.
  • Concerned about spending over $200M on a Western, Disney pulled the plug on the movie and forced the filmmaker to reduce the budget.
Show More
Advertisement

Back in 2011, Johnny Depp was a big deal following his hit Disney franchise Pirates of the Caribbean. Well, not just that, the actor had secured a phenomenal position in the entertainment industry with his prolific acting skills, and back-to-back hit movies. Yet, despite his success, there was one movie that Disney was hesitant to make.

Featured Video
Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp

Following Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski’s collaboration in the Pirates franchise, Disney was willing to see the duo work together once more. That’s when in 2011, the director came up with his highly anticipated project The Lone Ranger. However, despite everything being set for production, Disney considered pulling the plug, due to one specific reason. 

Advertisement

Also read: Despite $8.3B in the Bank, Johnny Depp Movies Can Never Break a Tom Cruise Record

Johnny Depp’s 2011 Disney Project Exceeded Budget

Following his collaboration with Disney and Gore Verbinski for Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp was sought to make another project with them. Well, it’s none other than the 2013 film The Lone Ranger. Apparently, the movie was initially supposed to be released in 2012 to smack up against The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. 

Advertisement
Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise
Johnny Depp worked with Gore Verbinski and Disney in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise

However, according to Deadline reports, the film faced issues with funding and budget that ended up delaying the release. Although Johnny Depp was highly excited to work on the film with Gore Verbinski, he faced a production stoppage when the movie started costing too much and the studio gave major pushback.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger

Disney was concerned about spending over $200M on a Western, even with Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp’s collaboration. Looking for a much lower budget, the Studio took drastic action that forced the filmmaker to figure out the next step. Verbinski had two options, either to shop his movie elsewhere, or put it back together with a lower budget, for a delayed release. 

Advertisement

Also read: ‘Pirates’ Franchise Prequel Was Filmed Without Johnny Depp After Disney’s 3-Day Ultimatum To Director

Disney Considered Pulling the Plug on The Lone Ranger

Despite the stunning development, The Lone Ranger production was shut down as Disney witnessed a surge in budget. Although the script was ready and actors were cast, Disney pulled the plug because of the budget. Filmmakers were therefore desperate to reduce the film’s cost from $250M down to $232M. But the studio wasn’t even willing to pay $200M for a Western film.

Advertisement
Disney pulled the plug on The Lone Ranger due to exceeding budget
Disney pulled the plug on The Lone Ranger due to exceeding budget

When Disney pulled the plug in 2011, the film was still casting up. Slated to release in 2012, Johnny Depp‘s The Lone Ranger was supposed to compete with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Brad Pitt-starrer World War Z. But unfortunately, the film got delayed due to Disney’s adamant decision not to spend more than $200M. 

Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer‘s colossal failure The Lone Ranger
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer‘s colossal failure The Lone Ranger (2013)

Unwilling to let go of Disney, Gore Verbinski, and Johnny Depp eventually considered lowering the budget. But unfortunately, they couldn’t make it less than $215M. Eventually, Disney agreed as they counted on Depp to make the film relevant with a comedic twist. Thereafter production began and finally the movie made it to the theatres in 2013. 

Advertisement

Nonetheless, sadly enough, Disney’s fear came true when despite entrusting their faith in Johnny Depp, The Lone Ranger struggled at the box office earning $260M worldwide against its $215M budget. 

Avatar

Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Krittika is a News Writer at FandomWire with 2 years of prior experience in lifestyle and web content writing. With her previous works available on HubPages and Medium, she has woven over 1000 stories with us, about fan-favorite actors, movies, and shows. Post-graduate in Journalism and Honors-graduate in English Literature, when this art enthusiast isn't crafting your next favorite article, she finds her escapism in coffee, fiction, and the Wizarding World.