A very revealing article (HT: Big Hollywood) from The Hollywood Reporter on what is going on with the Lone Ranger from producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
THR: How did negotiations get to the point where Disney shut down the movie?
Bruckheimer: We had a script that we kept working on. It was evolving. You start looking at locations, you look at the menu and say: "I like all these desserts. I want 'em all." And you hit a number and they say, "We can't afford that." Then you start cutting it back. Disney wanted to stop the spending unless they felt the budget corresponded to the number that the boss [Iger] wanted. They had set a deadline [Aug. 12] for us to submit a budget, and we didn't hit their number. They said, "Can you hit it?" We didn't have enough time to really vet the budget, and we said we couldn't hit it right away. And they said, "We have to stop the bleeding." We understood what they were doing, but we wanted to keep working.
THR: Were you shocked that they shut it down?
Then there is this key quote on something that is impacting the entire industry.Bruckheimer: It's always a shock when they actually do it. But I was still very confident that we could get the picture made. It took us about four to six weeks to figure out how to make the movie more economically.
THR: Was this your most difficult negotiation ever?
Bruckheimer: It's been very hard. It's just the times. It's tough out there. The studios lost a real source of revenue in DVDs. It's much tougher, much harder. The studios are making fewer movies. In the past, there's always been something else [to make up lost revenue] that's jumped in there. There will be something, but it hasn't happened yet.
Go read the whole thing.