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Mickey Mouse Shoots Down Depp & Hammer's "The Lone Ranger"

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Mickey Mouse Shoots Down Depp & Hammer's "The Lone Ranger"

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The upside is now you won't have to choose between "The Lone Ranger" and "World War Z" next Christmas.

The bean counters at Disney took another look at the $250-million budget for their "Lone Ranger" reboot and decided to pull the plug, reported Deadline. Despite having Gore Verbinski behind the camera, Johny Depp as Tonto, and Armie Hammer in the title role, the Mouse had second thoughts.

On the one hand, Depp has made five films--the "Pirates" and "Alice in Wonderland"--at Disney that grossed $3.8 billion globally, for an average of $762 million, so a $250-million outlay doesn't seem like a huge risk.

And Disney is clearly not afraid to spend money, having dropped $250 million on the upcoming "John Carter," starring Taylor Kitsch and based on a far less famous character; and $200 million "The Great and Powerful Oz," starring James Franco.

That said, even if you factor in whatever ungodly sum Depp commands, there is no reason that a film like this couldn't be made for half that budget. If Neil Blonkamp can make "District 9" for $30 million, you'd think a Western could be brought in under $200 million, no?

It turns out that all the talent involved is still interested in going forward, with one source telling Deadline, "Let's see how it all shakes out on Monday. There's always a chance that it could go. You never know until you know."

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