Johnny Depp was due to star in a new big screen version of The Lone Ranger, but Disney have now shut down production, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Johnny Depp was pencilled in to play the role of Tonto alongside Armie Hammer, who was to play The Lone Ranger in the re-telling of the classic western tale. It was being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski, the director of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, was to take the helm as director. It was scheduled for release in December 2012.
Apparently the production has been halted due to budgetary concerns, rather than creative differences. A source told The Hollywood Reporter that director Verbinski was demanding a high budget for the film: "Gore doesn't want to budge for what he thinks a movie like this needs," said the source. Another concern was the fact that it is western and the genre has recently taken a battering with the high profile flop that was Cowboys and Aliens. "The fact that it's a Western is a definite concern," says another insider. It's not all bad news for Depp though. E! Online have reported that he recently finished shooting The Rum Diaries, he's starring in a gothic vampire tale called Dark Shadows, and has a cameo in the up-coming 21 Jump Street movie.