Disney relaunches the Tonto International Film Festival, er, Lone Ranger

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Disney may be about to relaunch the Tonto International Film Festival -er, The Lone Ranger.

The film, shut down recently due to escalating costs, may be back in the works at the house of Mouse with Deadline reporting a possible early 2012 start for the Johnny Depp starrer.

Says Ms Finke :

I’m hearing that the studio is likely to have everything resolved by next week, and can start rehiring crew so that the picture will be ready to begin production in January or February. How that late start impacts the Dec. 21, 2012 release date remains to be seen, but Johnny Depp will get to play Tonto (Disney wouldn’t make the movie without him), and Armie Hammer will be back in as the title character. Ruth Wilson, the scene-stealing killer from Idris Elba’s British cop series Luther, is also expected back as the female lead.

Disney decided to give the movie another chance after director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer managed to slash about $35 million off the original forecasted $250 m price tag.

The cutting process has included the reworking of deals for Depp, Verbinski and Bruckheimer, and trimming the production budget and the long shoot. That would enable Depp, Gore and Bruckheimer to re-team after making the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films together. The Lone Ranger is one of several huge-budget films that Disney’s Rich Ross and Sean Bailey are managing. The others include John Carter, the Andrew Stanton-directed adaptation of John Carter of Mars with Friday Night Lights‘ Taylor Kitsch in the lead role, which has a budget around $250 million; and The Great and Powerful Oz, the Sam Raimi-directed James Franco-starrer, which is hovering around $200 million.

As suggested in the article, the failure of recent popcorn western “Cowboys & Aliens” at the box-office is likely to cause for the case of cold feet Walt’s troupe got on “Ranger”.