Disney's <i>Lone Ranger</i> Saddles Up

Although it took longer than anticipated, it appears as if Disney has reached an agreement with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp for The Lone Ranger to ride again.

The studio, concerned by the underwhelming opening of Cowboys & Aliens, pulled the plug on the rumored $275 million Western in mid-August, leading Bruckheimer and Verbinski to slash costs by reworking parts of the script and, along with Depp, making concessions in their deals. The budget ultimately was whittled down to the $215 million range, lower than the $220 million compromise figure but higher than the $200 million Disney really wanted.

Deadline reports the studio will shortly announce it's moving forward with the film, which stars Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger. It seems unlikely, however, that the movie will keep its Dec. 21, 2012, release date, as production won't get under way in New Mexico until early next year. Filming had been set to begin in mid-October.

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