Johnny Depp's canceled Lone Ranger rescued by pay cuts

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Dec 15, 2012, 11:18 AM EST

Disney was hoping to reunite its Pirates of the Caribbean team—actor Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski—for a big-budget reboot of the classic, but when the costs shot through the roof, the studio pulled the plug. Now, thanks to a trimmed budget, The Lone Ranger will ride again.

While the idea of Depp as Tonto (alongside The Social Network's Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger) was enough to get Disney interested in a cowboys-and-Indians movie, the $275 million budget was enough to give them pause—especially after Cowboys & Aliens woefully underperformed last summer. Add to that the $600 million Disney spent on both John Carter and Oz, The Great and Powerful, and the studio ran for the hills.

Now, according to Deadline, Depp, Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have all taken pay cuts to get the budget under $215 million, which was enough for Disney to give The Lone Ranger back its spurs.

We still don't know how the hell you spend $215 million on a western, unless there are giant mechanical spiders, but I guess that's a bargain.

(via Deadline)