As ICv2 reported back on September 30th, Disney has decided to reinstate production on Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger after changes to the script and considerable concessions from key participants in the project including producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Verbinski, and star Johnny Depp, who not only cut their upfront fees, but also apparently agreed to cut their back-end participation (i.e. their guaranteed percentage of the film’s gross revenues) if the movie goes over budget (see “Disney Reviving The Lone Ranger”).  

After the big-budget western-themed Cowboys & Aliens bombed this summer, Disney pulled the plug on The Lone Ranger project even though pre-production was far along and numerous casting announcements had been made (see “Disney Torpedoes The Lone Ranger”).  But the changes agreed to by The Lone Ranger creative team have reduced the film’s expected budget from $250 million to $215 million—and the new deal also provides a strong incentive to keep the movie on budget.

But instead of filming starting this fall as was originally planned, actual production on The Lone Ranger is not set to get underway until early 2012, which makes the film’s original release date of December 2012, an impossibility, so it came as no surprise when according to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney moved the debut of The Lone Ranger to Friday, May 31st, 2013.