Last week, Disney reportedly shut down production on the Johnny Depp-led Western due to budget disputes. However, the director and producer are apparently working to get the film back on track, even offering to take a pay cut in an effort to shrink the film’s $250m (£152m) price tag.
“It all starts with [Gore],” a source told The Hollywood Reporter. “If there is any saving this version of the movie, he’ll have to find substantial savings. If he can, maybe we can hold this together.”
The Pirates of the Caribbean director purportedly managed to bring the budget down to around $242m (£147m), but the insider claims that this is still not enough to satisfy the studio. The source said that the expenses need to drop below $215m (£131m) to $220m (£134m) before Disney will agree to back the project.
Both Verbinski and Bruckheimer have allegedly offered to give up $10m (£6m) of their own fees in an attempt to reduce the cost of production, but as they appear unable to lower the budget any further, it seems unlikely that Disney will greenlight the project.
The Lone Ranger has officially been in development since 2008, when Depp signed on to play the titular character’s Native American companion Tonto.
It was scheduled for a December 21, 2012 release date.