“Lone Ranger” Gallops Onto the Big Screen

July 3, 2013 by Tom Ferda 

Published in Film Trailers Magazine July 3, 2013

From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski comes Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ “The Lone Ranger,” a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor.

Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice, taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together to fight greed and corruption.

Verbinski, who teamed up with Bruckheimer and Depp for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise explained one of the biggest challenges in making this type of action film, “It’s not like you can go to a backlot and shoot this movie.”

And that’s what makes this film so intriguing compared to some of the CGI infested action hero movies released earlier this year. The crew spent countless months on vast outdoor sets in six states including Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. Verbinski had his set designers build an old west town from scratch at the New Mexico location and added a five-mile train track the looped around the town.

THE LONE RANGER

Photo: Courtesy of Disney/Bruckheimer Films

Besides the expected burden of shooting around severe rainstorms, the cast and crew were forced to deal with wild fires, a chicken pox outbreak, 100-degree temps and on a few occasions 70 mph winds.

Although many of these locations were in states that offer great tax incentives to the studios, the budget still hit an estimated $250 million, and that doesn’t include the additional estimated $150M for marketing and ad costs. So after you get out your calculators and hit all those buttons, if your calculater goes that high, you’ll realize why the studio went back to the main actors and some of the crew and asked for them to take pay cuts in order to get the film done.

Photo: Courtesy of Disney/Bruckheimer Films

Photo: Courtesy of Disney/Bruckheimer Films

Although the second unit stunt crew used a parking lot in Southern Cali to shoot some blue screen stunts, much of the action took place on the actual sets. “Todays audience is so sophisticted they know when it’s CG,” said Bruckheimer. “They know when you’re faking it.” And that’s explains why Verbinski put his actors on top of the actual train as opposed to blue screening those shots with CGI.

For all you trivia buffs, the Lone Ranger and Tonto were first introduced in 1933 on a Detroit area radio show that lasted 2,956 episodes and was later aired in a television series from 1949-57.

Now that this flick has been launched in theaters the question is, ‘Will Disney and Bruckheimer ride off to the bank on their white stallion, Silver?’ With a total estimated price tag of $400M, we’ll have to wait to tip our white Stetson to that.

Contact Tom via email: tom@tomferda.com

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