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After a long back-and-forth battle, Disney set a new release date (Memorial Day weekend 2013) for its problematic The Lone Ranger film.
But, the six-month push back isn’t the only obstacle the Western has had to overcome. Getting this remake of the popular 1940s and 50s radio show to the big screen has been an ongoing battle, not unlike something the film’s hero might have experienced on a fast-moving train.
Here’s a brief history of The Lone Ranger‘s road to the theaters.
March 27, 2008: Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer announced that Pirates of the Caribbean writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio were in final negotiations to write the live-action big screen adaptation of the radio show.
Sept. 25, 2008: Johnny Depp signs on to play Lone Ranger’s sidekick, Tonto.
Nov. 23, 2010: It is announced that director Gore Verbinski will helm the film.
Feb. 11, 2010: After Rossio and Elliott drop out, Revolutionary Road writer Justin Haythe is attached to pen the screenplay.
June 8, 2011: Disney announces that the film will have a December 21, 2012 release date, pitting it against Brad Pitt’s World War Z, Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi, Relativity Media’s Hunter-Killer and an untitled Universal-Judd Apatow project.
June 23, 2011: Tom Wilkinson joins the cast to play a railroad tycoon with dubious intentions.
July 19, 2011: THR reports that Helena Bonham Carter, Dwight Yoakam and Barry Pepper are in talks to join the cast. Carter would play the madam of a local brothel.
Aug. 12. 2011: Disney shuts down production because of clashes with producer Bruckheimer over the budget, which had ballooned to $250 million.
Aug. 17, 2011: THR reports that Verbinski and Bruckheimer are reworking the budget to trim at least $35 million off.
Sept. 29, 2011: Depp, Verbinski and Bruckheimer all agree to reduce their standard fees to help with reducing the budget, and the filmmakers have agreed to forgo their back-end participation if the film comes in over the new $215 million cap, THR reports. A number of CGI features and one of the planned train sequences were also scrapped.
Oct. 13, 2011: Hi-yo Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again, with Disney setting a new May 31, 2013 release date.
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