Did Werewolves Cause The $250 Million Budget for Johnny Depp's The Lone Ranger?
A source has contacted Hollywood-elsewhere with new information, and provided a revealing page of the script that suggests werewolves as the antagonist. Also, Cowboys and Aliens flopping was the final nail in the coffin.
The reason The Lone Ranger's budget was so astronomically high that Disney execs decided to shut it down was because it's an effects-heavy CG thing due to being a kind of an Indian-spirituality werewolf movie, a.k.a., The Lone Ranger Meets the Wolfman. Yes, I'm serious. A 3.29.09 draft of Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio's script makes it clear it was going to be partially about some kind of Native American wolfbeast tearing victims apart and leaving a bloody mess.
"It was always going to be a big Bruckheimer CG movie with traditional Bruckheimer elements with an eye toward being a tentpole, totally Pirates-style," says a gadfly screenwriter who always hears stuff and has been following the project through postings on writersactionbss.com -- a private writers' website that Elliott has posted on.
"It was never going to be a semi-traditional western...it was never going to be Zorro. It was going to be a Tonto show mainly. Tonto as the top dog and more dominant than the Lone Ranger. Tonto and the Indian spirits like Obi Wan Kenobi and the force. The driving engine was going to be Native American occult aspects worked in with werewolves and special effects. But flavored with doses of Native American spirituality in a serious way."
"But then Cowboys & Aliens came along and tanked and Disney got cold tenderfeet, spooked by the idea of a pricey mashup. If Cowboys & Aliens had made $200 million, this wouldn't be happening. A Bruckheimer-style western in the wake of Cowboys & Aliens is nothing anyone is feeling secure about at this stage. Trust me, the writers of tentpole garbage are all scared now."
Werewolves vs. The Lone Ranger? What the heck is that? Wow! Now I understand why the budget ballooned to $250 million dollars. And I also understand why Disney put a halt to it.
The word of mouth on Cowboys and Aliens was very good, and then the movie was shown and instead of cheers it got jeers. If creative heavyweights like Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Jon Favreau can't make a successful film mixing the western with a monster (alien) than you can't earmark $250 million to Depp's project.
The Lone Ranger was scheduled to be released Dec. 21, 2012
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