Disney ditches Johnny Depp’s ‘The Lone Ranger’

Spiralling costs cause the western remake to be shelved

Disney has shut down production on the latest Johnny Depp vehicle, the adaptation of the radio and television classic, The Lone Ranger.

With production started and a release date set, the decision to halt the film has come as a huge surprise to those in the industry.

According to Deadline.com, spiralling budget costs are the main cause. Reports say that an estimated $270 million (£166 million) was due to be spent, with only a lower total of $200 million (£123 million) initially available.

The film was set to star Armie Hammer in the lead role of The Lone Ranger, with Johnny Depp to play the sidekick role of Tonto. It was to be directed by Gore Verbinski.

Verbinksi and Depp have worked together before for Disney, with the hugely successful first three Pirates of the Caribbean films. Their second Captain Jack Sparrow team up, Dead Man’s Chest, broke the billion-dollar barrier.

Disney have four of the 10 highest grossing movies of all time, with three of them starring Johnny Depp. They include, Alice in Wonderland, Toy Story 3, Dead Man’s Chest and On Stranger Tides.

The Lone Ranger was due to be released on December 21, 2012.