It looks like The Lone Ranger will ride after all: TheWrap has confirmed that Disney is close to a deal to revive the Johnny Depp movie.
In August, the company halted production on the big-budget project, which stars Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the masked man. Gore Verbinski is directing and Jerry Bruckheimer is producing.
An individual close to the project told TheWrap on Tuesday that while a deal to get the project back in production is not yet finalized, it appears imminent.
It took some doing. In order to cut costs -- there was talk the movie would cost more than $250 million -- the script, which apparently contained supernatural elements, had to be reworked. Some of the principals also had to cut their fees.
Even with the cuts, it's an expensive film. TheWrap has learned its budget is still above $200 million.
The studio is hoping to begin shooting in February. The film had been set to begin shooting this month in New Mexico.
The Lone Ranger had been set for a December 21, 2012 release.
Depp is extremely important to Disney. His four Pirates of the Caribbean movies have grossed the studio more than $3.7 billion, and the studio would like to make a fifth.
On top of that, Depp starred in Alice in Wonderland, which grossed more than $1 billion.
Verbinski directed Depp in Rango and in three Pirates films, and Bruckheimer produced all of the Pirates movies.
Deadline first reported the news.