Walt Disney Pictures' Lone Ranger is finally coming together, after the production was shut down in August due to an inflating budget. Last week, we reported that production will begin on February 6. Today producer Jerry Bruckheimer finally spoke out on the budget, and some of the trimming that took place to get the film back up and running.
First, the producer revealed that shooting will take place in either Louisiana or New Mexico. Here's what he had to say below.
"We found that Louisiana gave us a better tax incentive than New Mexico -- that was another $8 million. We're still shooting in New Mexico, and we might [also] go to Louisiana. We're asking New Mexico to come closer to the Louisiana incentive. We dropped our California location not because they didn't offer a tax break but because it was another production office that we had to open. Every time you have a new location, you have to use crew time setting it up for you. There are a lot of expenses."
The producer also discussed some of the sequences cut from the script to get the budget down to Disney's preferred number of $215 million.
"We cut a sequence involving a coyote attack -- supernatural coyotes -- and a small animated segment. The train [scenes] are intact. We trimmed it a little bit. Gore (Verbinski) made some sacrifices creatively, but nothing that would hurt the film. We had to work it out. The studio set a number, and it was always our responsibility to get to the number."
Despite these cutbacks, it seems Disney still wanted to cut more from the script, and Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed that many key players agreed to deferred payments to keep the budget down.
"Disney held back fees, and I put up some of my development money. I've done that before. (Director) Gore (Verbinski) and myself and Johnny (Depp) and some vendors and creative people agreed to deferments. They will get paid at a certain point that Disney negotiated with them, as I will. It's a "favored nation" deal, so we all get paid at the same point when Disney recoups. That took a month or more. Then [on Oct. 13] we could finally start spending again. Some below-the-line people gave us reductions. Disney would have much preferred us cutting stuff out of the script. But the competition is fierce. You can't compete with The Hobbit, you can't compete with Transfomers if you do that. The audience will stay home."