Disney's The Lone Ranger set to ride back into action

It wasn't so long ago that we were reporting that Disney had pulled the plug on the ambitious new movie version of The Lone Ranger .

Now, Deadline are reporting that the problems have been all but resolved at the studio, and an official announcement is expected next week.

The key players - Johnny Depp as Tonto, Armie Hammer as the masked hero and Ruth Wilson ( Luther ) as the female lead - are expected to be back, and we're hoping Helena Bonham Carter will return, too.

While it seemed strange that a project from the Pirates Of The Caribbean power-combo of Depp, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski could ever be shelved, the primary concern was the budget, which was edging north of $250m.

Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski have apparently chipped that figure down to a mere $215m.

Deadline suggests the disappointing performance of this summer's western-themed Cowboys & Aliens could have caused Disney's hesitance.

The vintage property still sounds like a slightly risky proposition, but there's always the underlying hope that Depp, Verbinski and Bruckheimer could recapture the spirit of the first Pirates , with plenty of laughs, adventure and old-fashioned swashbuckling.

It's not yet clear if The Lone Ranger is still expected to hit its original December 2012 release date.

Matt Maytum
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.