Johnny Depp’s ‘The Lone Ranger’ is back on

Back in August of this year, the fate of Disney’s upcoming big-budget movie starring Johnny Depp, The Lone Ranger, was uncertain. Once the budget soared up to the $250 million range, Disney had to put a stop to production in order to trim the hefty budget down to $215 million.

After doing a few cuts here and there to get the budget down, Disney has given the green light for the project to go back into production, Disney announced today. Originally scheduled for a December 21, 2012 release, it’s now said to be due out on May 31, 2013.

Depp and director Gore Verbinski told MTV News that the two were aware that the Lone Ranger‘s $250 million budget was going to be a problem from the start.

“We knew that the budget was going to be huge initially, and we also knew that it was going to be shut down for a while, and it was kind of like we patiently wait — we shave a little bit here, we do a little bit there, they fix it,” he said.

To get the budget down to agreeable levels for Disney, Depp, Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer had to take a pay cut. Not only that, Disney had to scrap a few CGI-heavy scenes, and an entire train sequence had to be removed.

Depp, who will be playing Tonto in the film, said that he had high hopes that the film would be able to move forward, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

“I like the character,” he said. “I think I have interesting plans for the character, and I think the film itself could be entertaining and very funny. But also I like the idea of having the opportunity to make fun of the idea of the Indian as a sidekick — which has always been [the case] throughout the history of Hollywood, the Native American has always been a second-class, third-class, fourth-class citizen, and I don’t see Tonto that way at all. So it’s an opportunity for me to salute Native Americans.”

via Hollywood Reporter