That brief interim where it was feared Johnny Depp may not get to revive a beloved childhood property by putting himself in the lead role is over: Disney has given a green light to Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer’s The Lone Ranger, proving the old Disney adage that brand recognition, Depp recognition, and all-around “spectacle” are all you need to replace a good story. Of course, you can definitely expect less spectacle now, as the production has been markedly scaled back since its inception—from a proposed $250-$275 million budget to the much more modest $215 million, which barely covers the cost of horses, or exploding those horses. No word yet on exactly how many digital werewolves, Indian ghosts, or epic train crashes have been sacrificed to get the film into production, but we’re going to guess five, two, and probably none.
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