Is Gore Verbinski Out As Director Of The Lone Ranger?

At the D23 convention over the weekend, reporters asked Disney executives about the state of The Lone Ranger, the recently shelved remake of the legendary western TV show that was to star Johnny Depp as Tonto and rising star Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger.

Disney Chairman Rich Ross, the man in charge of worldwide production and distribution for the company, fielded a question about the status of The Lone Ranger and answered rather hopefully about the film’s future saying…

“I’m hoping to do it. I’m certainly hoping. I think it’s a compelling story and no one wants to work with Jerry (Bruckheimer) and Johnny (Depp) more than me so we’ll see how it works out.”

This led Indiewire to wonder why Ross didn’t mention director Gore Verbinski who’s been with The Lone Ranger since talk of the revamp began several years ago. The omission indicated to Indiewire that Verbinski may be the most likely candidate to bite the bullet for the film’s budget troubles.

Earlier this month, Disney shocked the industry by shelving The Lone Ranger after the filmmakers came in with a budget in the range of 250 to 275 million dollars. Both sides are now in negotiations with Disney hoping that the film can be made for somewhere in the range of 215 million dollars.

It’s no stretch to assume that someone has to be let go among the highly paid trio of Jerry Bruckheimer, Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski and with Bruckheimer being one of Disney’s top cash cows and Depp being the selling point of the film, Gore Verbinski is the likely candidate to get the boot.

There is more to come on this story and we will bring you the details as they arise. Meanwhile, our Rob Cox recently wrote quite compellingly as to why The Lone Ranger should not be made at all. Read it here at