The Lone Ranger is finally on steady ground

The New Mexico Film Office (NMFO) recently confirmed The Lone Ranger will be filming in the state from February to August this year, giving us a good sign the movie’s financial troubles are finally over.

Over the last year of development, the budget for The Lone Ranger was slashed twice, and co-star Jonny Depp seemed on the verge of abandoning the project.

When Cowboys & Aliens had a surprisingly low opening weekend, Walt Disney had to take a close, hard look at whether there was a place in their house for a fantasy cowboy story.

The status of the project was precarious since last Fall, but now it seems that the studio has decided to go through with it, as a deal for production space has been successfully negotiated.

For New Mexico’s part, officials see it as a good sign for their potential moviemaking future. “The Lone Ranger is proof that New Mexico’s film industry is alive and well,” said Governor Martinez. “This administration is committed to fostering productive relationships with film studios so we can continue to offer our talented workforce and breathtaking backdrops for major productions. As we continue to build upon our reputation as a premier film production center, we are pleased to welcome The Lone Ranger to our state.”

New Mexico has greatly dropped in popularity as a filming location over the last few decades, as the popularity of the cowboy film waned, and the need for sweeping desert vistas in film went along with it. The NMFO has been negotiating with Disney for over a year, while they waited to see if the film would even go forward. Interestingly enough, New Mexico was producer Jerry Bruckhiemer’s first choice for a filming location.

The Lone Ranger

stars Armie Hammer in the title role and Johnny Depp as his sidekick, Tonto. Due to budgeting delays, the film will miss its originally announced release date in the 2012 holiday season, and has been moved instead to the 2013 blockbuster season, specifically May 31, 2013.