How did 'The Lone Ranger' movie starring Johnny Depp finally get the green light from Disney? The filmmakers re-did the production plan, cut some scenes and searched for tax incentives -- oh, they also laid off a ton of crew members. As producer Jerry Bruckheimer told The Hollywood Reporter, Disney wanted to scrap an estimated $45 million from the film's budget (from $260 million down to $215 million), so they decided to group together shooting days that required a lot of extras and crew, instead of alternating between "big crowd" scenes one day and very small ones the next. This way, the producers were able to lay off the extra staff for the days they didn't need them.

If we had a big crowd scene and then the next day we were shooting just Tonto and the Lone Ranger, we still had the crew "on" because you have them weekly. So we bunched the sequences that were big together, and for the smaller scenes [we] laid off the extras, the effects people, the makeup people. It costs an enormous amount with 150 extras on the set. It's not the extras, it's the people that support the extras. You're still carrying all the wardrobe, makeup and hair people. We bunched together scenes with Tonto and the Lone Ranger, so we had a much smaller crew. We saved about $10 million just by doing that.

Wow. Stay classy, Hollywood! In addition to the layoffs, Bruckheimer and his team also began looking for states that gave the best tax breaks for shooting. All in all, the budget fiasco ended up forcing Disney to push the release date back to May 31, 2013 from Dec. 21, 2012.

[via THR]

[Photo: GF/]



Follow Moviefone on Twitter
Like Moviefone on Facebook

categories Movies