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OTRC: 'The Lone Ranger' film, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, shut down

Johnny Depp appears at the May 2011 Los Angeles premiere of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.' / Armie Hammer appears in a scene from the 2010 movie 'The Social Network.' (Walt Disney Company / Columbia Pictures)

"The Lone Ranger," a film reboot based on the iconic masked hero that was to star Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, was shut down due to budget issues.

The film, which was set to begin shooting in the fall, was abruptly halted due to a budget clash with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, according to the Associated Press. The Disney production reportedly ran into difficulties when the movie's estimated $250 million budget was to be reduced to $200 million.

Bruckheimer and Depp have previously collaborated on the successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, which earned billions in the worldwide box office. Depp recently said he wanted to "hold off for a bit" on a fifth installment of the pirate films, though the script has been completed.

Hammer, who played the Winklevoss twins in "The Social Network," had been cast as the Lone Ranger while Depp, who turned 48 on June 9, was to play his Native American companion, Tonto.

The franchise, which features the duo fighting crime in the Old West, spurred the Lone Ranger's catchphrase that he shouts to his horse: "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!"

"The Lone Ranger" began as a radio series in the 1930s and inspired films, television shows, comic books and records, as well as the spin-off "The Green Hornet," which was also adapted into a comic series and a 2011 film starring Seth Rogen. Clayton Moore played the Lone Ranger in the television series that ran between 1949 and 1957.

Gore Verbinski, who directed Depp in the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films and the animated movie "Rango," was to be the director of the new "Lone Ranger" movie, which was scheduled to be released on December 21, 2012.

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