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'The Lone Ranger': Johnny Depp's Big Pay Cut, Smaller Budget Saves Film (VIDEO)

Posted: 10/13/11 05:08 PM ET

No "stupid money" this time, it seems. Though the pay check would still leave most other people dumbfounded.

Earlier this month, Johnny Depp was quoted in Vanity Fair as saying that he was happy to take big paychecks from movie studios if they were willing to dish it. Disney has largely been the source of those checks, paying the star massive money for the four "Pirates of the Caribbean" films and "Alice In Wonderland." The studio put its foot down, however, on the budget for his upcoming big screen adaptation of "The Lone Ranger."

The film, which was finally green lit earlier this week after nearly two months of negotiations following a shut down of production in August, went from a $250 million budget to $215 million. According to Variety, part of the savings came from cut CGI sequences, but much of the money came from 20% salary cuts agreed to by Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. They'll also have to hold off on receiving certain payments until box office receipts roll in, and if they go over budget, it'll come out of the trio's wallets.

For Depp, the film meant enough to him that he was willing to take the cut, as he often does with his passion projects. As he's often said, he wants to recalibrate the relationship between the title character -- to be played by Armie Hammer -- and Tonto, his traditional Native American sidekick, whom he will portray.

"I like the character. I think I have interesting plans for the character, and I think the film itself could be entertaining and very funny," he recently told MTV. "But also I like the idea of having the opportunity to make fun of the idea of the Indian as a sidekick -- which has always been [the case] throughout the history of Hollywood, the Native American has always been a second-class, third-class, fourth-class citizen, and I don't see Tonto that way at all. So it's an opportunity for me to salute Native Americans."

Depp is currently filming the adaptation of the show "Dark Shadows," will remake the old novel series, "The Thin Man" for film and just announced that he'll be producing -- and perhaps starring in -- a biopic of Dr. Seuss. He'll star later this month in "The Rum Diary."

For more, click over to Variety.

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Filed by Jordan Zakarin  |