While it’s not like no film has ever been shut down in the middle of production, I’m still going to get right on my high horse and tell it plainly – I didn’t believe that Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger was going to get made until a press release telling me that the film has started production hit my inbox this morning. So, hey, look, a movie! The release reports that production has commenced on location in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado” for the Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer-starring film, which means that the cast and crew is probably feeling pretty damn quartered right now. These are the jokes, people! The release does later clarify that the production “will film exteriors and studio work in New Mexico, followed by locations in Arizona, Utah and Colorado.”

The film’s production troubles – namely of the budgetary variety – have been well-documented over the past few months, with the film being all but killed back in August, followed by Verbinski’s vow to trim the budget just days later, followed by its apparent resurrection in October, culminating in it being officially officially back on the trail in December. And that’s not even to mention all the casting blather surrounding to the film. But despite all those problems, this Lone Ranger is indeed riding again.

The Lone Ranger reunites many of those behind the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, with Verbinksi and Depp getting back into it with Disney in general and producer Jerry Bruckheimer specifically. The screenwriting team also includes Pirates vets Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, along with Eric Aronson and Justin Haythe. As one the rare few who never quite got taken in by the swashbuckling adventures and Depp’s Jack Sparrow, this doesn’t really mean much to me, but again, I know I am in the minority on this and I do like the cut of that Hammer.

The studio is billing the film as “a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.” Fun.

Our Cole Abaius took the film’s first kill as a jumping off point to discuss why that was a good thing – weirdly, his points still stand and I recommend giving it another read, even in light of this news.

The Lone Ranger has a release date of May 31, 2013.

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