Disney has stopped production on The Lone Ranger, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced, Gore Verbinski-directed action western based on the classic TV show. Holding their horses, literally, the buzz that started to fly around Hollywood is virtually gone. The big-budget, high-profile cast film, which was budgeted north of $240 million, was scheduled to have as many as 500 extras for the film. Now, no one gets to see its stars, Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, in all of their "Hi-yo, Silver" glory.

Deadline reports that with other Disney films such as John Carter and the Sam Raimi-directed Oz: The Great and Powerful already at various stages of production, the House of Mouse cancelled The Lone Ranger to save some bucks. Which is a surprise because Depp, in particular, is solid platinum for Disney, after bringing home the bacon with the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Maybe the studio will just put the film on hold (it already has a December 21, 2012 release date, after all) until some more cash rolls in from the aforementioned films.

[via Deadline]