Monday, August 15, 2011

Reel Facts & Opinions

FACT: Disney has halted production on Gore Verbinski’s big-budget LONE RANGER adaptation. The project was to star Armie Hammer (the twin from THE SOCIAL NETWORK) as the lead role, with Johnny Depp as sidekick Tonto. Reports are that the shutdown happened because the budget could not be brought down from $250 million to $200 million.

OPINION: The matchup of Verbinski, Depp, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer has meant mega-bucks for Disney for nearly a decade; the trio has made Disney nearly a billion dollars with the PIRATES franchise. So what is Disney so afraid of? There is certainly no such thing has a guaranteed hit, but considering the history Verbinski and his collaborators have, one has to wonder if there are some other money concerns going on in the house that the mouse built.

FACT: Mike Meyers has signed on for a fourth AUSTIN POWERS film.

OPINION: Meyers’ career has been producing nothing but turds lately, with THE CAT IN THE HAT, THE LOVE GURU, and a couple of lukewarm SHREK films. With things looking bleak, Meyers is doing what every fading star tends to do; resurrect their most successful character. Besides the franchise wearing out its welcome, what the world needs more of is original characters, and less recyclables.

What say you?

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