On the same day that the Walt Disney Co. estimated it may lose as much as $190 million on the disastrous “Lone Ranger,” a British interview with the filmmakers surfaced in which the creative team blamed the epic failure on ... American critics.
In a junket interview with Yahoo UK/Ireland, “Lone Ranger” stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer said that reviewers torpedoed the film by prejudging it.
“I think the reviews were probably written when they heard that Gore and Jerry and I were going to do ‘The Lone Ranger,’” Depp said of the $250-million production, which has grossed just $177 million worldwide to date. “I think that Gore made a very brave film.”
Hammer shared Depp’s sentiments, even as an off-camera handler, coughing conspicuously, is apparently trying to get him to talk about something else. “They’ve been gunning for our movie since it was shut down the first time,” Hammer said of Disney’s effort to hold the film’s budget down by postponing production.
“I think that’s probably when most of the critics wrote their initial reviews,” Hammer said, perhaps unaware of the fact that most reviewers turn in their notices about 12 seconds before deadline.
Bruckheimer had a slightly different take, saying the media was focused on the film’s cost, which he argued is immaterial to moviegoers. “I think they were reviewing the budget, not the movie,” the producer said. “The critics keep crying for original movies. You make one, and they don’t like it.”