We recently confirmed that World War Z is having major problems, plagued by a bloated budget, reshoots and major script rewrites.
Similar reports are now surfacing about the The Lone Ranger, which was never on very solid ground to begin with. You may recall the Lone Ranger actually got shut down over budget problems at Disney, and the key creatives involved, Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, had to cut down their fees to get the movie made.
Now the Hollywood Reporter tells us that even with cuts to get the budget down to $215 million, it’s back up to $250 mil, which was the cost Disney balked at in the first place. It’s also “day or weeks behind schedule.”
To try and cut down the hemorrhaging, Verbinski’s been asked to cut scenes out of the film, and rewrites are under way. Nevertheless, the film is supposed to wrap in August, as it is still scheduled for a July 3, 2013 release.
Although the Reporter confirms the movie is out of control, there is definitely a good buzz on the footage so far. It’s also important to remember that as with any Hollywood report, there may be a serious agenda behind it – good and bad. Obviously someone with an agenda, possibly at a rival studio, could be blabbing to the press, as witth some of the alleged buzz over Battleship, which was clearly studio damage control.
With two Hollywood “out of control” stories in the space of several days, this all takes me back to 1979, when the headlines and stories were the same about Heaven’s Gate, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (which was actually the most expensive movie of all time at the time), The Blues Brothers, Apocalypse Now, and 1941. Michael Cimino, who directed Heaven’s Gate, was especially called to task, with people asking how he could justify spending $44 million on a movie that made about $12 back, and essentially bankrupted a studio.
These days a $44 million budget is chump change, and you wonder how the major studios can keep in business with this kind of money flying out the window. And as The Wrap reports, one of our finest living actresses, Meryl Streep, just publicly called the business to task for all its out of control spending at an industry event, saying “five little movies aimed at women” made $1.6 billion, namely The Help, The Iron Lady, Bridesmaids, Mamma Mia, and The Devil Wears Prada.
Those flicks didn’t cost a ton of money, which means the profits were big too. “So why why why (don’t studios make these),” she asked rhetorically. “Don’t they want the money? Why is it so hard to get these movies made?”