Johnny Depp’s latest film, Lone Ranger, is apparently being blighted by a whole host of problems. Sources have revealed that the film, which began shooting on February 28th in New Mexico, is now weeks behind schedule and that it’s budget has now rocketed up to around $250 million. That’s a pretty big amount of change.
A few months ago when it was revealed that the budget had got to this amount those involved in the film, Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer agreed to get rid of action sequences as well as part with some of their own fee.
But this seems to have had little impact as the Lone Ranger has now spiralled out of control again and now major re-writes are taking place to save the film. Of course, this isn’t the first time that a Hollywood production has spent a few more pennies than it originally intended.
Here 3 examples of projects that went wildly over budget. Verbinski, get a pen and paper and see if you can learn from their mistakes.
Apocalypse Now – Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam epic not only went wildly over budget from it’s projected amount of $12 million to a cost of $30 million, but it also saw him fire his leading man, Harvey Kietel, and replace him with Martin Sheen who subsequently had a heart attack. This was accompanied by a monsoon that destroyed his sets and the arrival of an overweight and underprepared Marlon Brando. Still, the film does kick ass so maybe Verbinski should be grateful that he has spent too much money.
Titanic – Originally budgeted at $100 million, James Cameron’s effort soon doubled to $200 million, with the period setting and one big ass ship being the main reasons for the inflation. But it all ended happily when Titanic grossed close to $2 billion at the box office and nabbed 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. Yeah, it may be way too long but at least you get to see Kate Winslet’s boobies.
Cleopatra - Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s Cleopatra is the pinnacle of over budget productions. Originally given $2 million to spend this quickly went up and up and up till it reached a humungous $44 million and don’t forget that this is in 1963. That’s like $50 billion in today’s money. Several director’s were used which included Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Daryyl F. Zanuck and Rouben Mamoulian who apparently sent $7 million of just 10 minutes worth of usable footage. As you can predict, Cleopatra didn’t make it’s budget back and is now simply regarded as the film that got Burton and Taylor together.