Remember months ago when Disney put the development of Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger on ice because the budget had ballooned up to $250m or more? The studio is probably having flashbacks to that point, because the film is reportedly now over budget to the point where it is going to cost $250m or more; part of that budget overage has to do with the film being way behind schedule.

If the accounts are correct, Gore Verbinski may have to trim scenes back again. So what does that mean for a film that was already rewritten once late in the game, and is now being rewritten again? Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer play the leads, and they’ll play right into Disney’s plan to sell the film to audiences worldwide, but will they be enough to save the film? Read More »

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For The Lone Ranger, Disney is working with tactics that are almost exactly opposite to what Warner Bros. did with its own new Johnny Depp vehicle, Dark Shadows. The Lone Ranger just started shooting, and we’ve already got the first image of Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer (The Social Network, J. Edgar) as the title character. Check it out in full below. Read More »

Dwight Yoakum is out and William Fichtner is in. The talented character actor who is perhaps best known for his short but sweet scene at the beginning of The Dark Knight has been cast as the villain in Gore Verbinski’s 2013 Disney action film Lone Ranger opposite Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp as the Ranger and Tonto. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger was forced to make some changes when Disney balked at its $250 million price tag, but happily, it doesn’t seem the cuts have stopped the project from continuing to land some solid talent. Deadline reports that rising star James Badge Dale is now the frontrunner to join the cast in the role of Dan Reid. The older brother of the titular character (Armie Hammer), Dan Reid is an ex-ranger and hero himself. Johnny Depp, Ruth Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, and Dwight Yoakum also star in the Western, which is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

The one possible downside to this news for Dale’s fans, however, is that if he officially boards Lone Ranger, it’ll pull him out of the running to play John McClane Jr. in A Good Day to Die Hard. Either way, though, Dale’s obviously on his way up. He was most recently seen in last year’s Shame, and will next appear in this month’s The Grey opposite Liam Neeson. In addition, he has two more high-profile projects, Flight and World War Z lined up for this year. Lone Ranger is scheduled to enter production next month.

After the jump, Orphan and The Hunger Games star Isabelle Fuhrman buddies up with Jaden Smith.

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Casting on the long-gestating adaptation of Orson Scott Card‘s sci-fi YA novel Ender’s Game has been falling into place over the past month, with Asa Butterfield (Hugo) signed on for the lead role and Hailee Steinfeld and Ben Kingsley in talks to join as well. Now Canadian teen star Brendan Meyer has boarded the project in the role of Stilson, a classmate who bullies Ender. Meyer is best known for his lead role in the Canadian series Mr. Young, which follows a child prodigy who graduates college at 14 and returns to his high school as a science teacher.

Gavin Hood will direct the film from his own script, about a gifted boy who is drafted into a special military program that trains children to fight against an alien species called the Formics. Ender’s Game will begin shooting early next year for a March 2013 release. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Tom Wilkinson gets some help in Disney’s The Lone Ranger.

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We’re still talking about Disney’s crazy-ass $215m Lone Ranger, to be directed by Gore Verbinski with Johnny Depp playing Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Ranger, because Disney is still planning to make the damn thing. The studio put the project on hold weeks ago, then went through quite a bit of public wrangling over budgets and fees. The movie that Gore Verbinski once described as “Don Quixote from Sancho Panza’s point of view” (with the Ranger being Quixote, making Tonto the lead) suddenly had werewolves — goddamn werewolves — and giant expensive train sequences.

But the film got a green light this week, in part because many of the above the line participants — Depp, Verbinski, Hammer and producer Jerry Bruckheimer — agreed to a pay cut. There’s even a scheduled start date: February 6, 2012, with the producing aiming for a May 31, 2013 release date. To make that happen, quite a few changes were made. We summarize those, and pass on Johnny Depp’s intentions in playing Tonto, after the break. Read More »

Gore Verbinski To Produce Futuristic Jungle Book Movie

Chernin Entertainment is close to a deal to acquire a pitch from screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Deadline is reporting that the deal is in mid to high six figures, and that Pirates/Rango helmer Gore Verbinski would produce. The yet to be titled project is being described as a futuristic Jungle Book, whatever that means. Sarama and Sharpless are probably best known for developing board game turned movie adaptations of Clue and Missile Command, as well as the announced Flash Gordon redo and Dracula Year Zero (which I’ve heard great things about). Walt Disney Pictures, who has released a bunch of Jungle Book movies, was also bidding on the property.

Note: The illustration above, by Phil Longson, has nothing to do with this project. But I thought the imagery of a boy and his giant robot to be cool.

Disney Ready to Let ‘Lone Ranger’ Back On the Range

Are you tired of the back and forth, ‘maybe they will, maybe they won’t’ non-action on Disney’s Lone Ranger? If so, you might be in luck, at least if the idea of the movie happening still seems like a good idea. The studio looks like it is ready to re-commit to the project with Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp. The green light hasn’t been given yet, but the current word is that Disney will probably flash that signal next week, leading to an early 2012 shoot. Read More »

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