The Lone Ranger 'shut down by Disney'

Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp Armie Hammer had signed up to star in the lead role with Depp as his partner Tonto

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Disney's much-anticipated big-screen adaptation of The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp has been put on hold, according to industry reports.

Deadline Hollywood said the studio had stopped pre-production over problems with reducing the movie's estimated $250m (£154m) cost.

The Social Network star Armie Hammer was set to play the masked Texas Ranger with Depp as his partner Tonto.

Filming had been due to begin in October in New Mexico.

Jerry Bruckheimer had been lined up to produce the film, with Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski also on board.

Deadline reported a source close to the film, who said producers were now discussing whether to take the project to another film studio or to continue at a later date with a lower budget.

The Lone Ranger - about a ranger battling injustice in the Old West - first aired on the radio in the US in the 1930s and became a popular TV series running from 1949 to 1957.

The movie adaptation was scheduled to be released on 21 December 2012.

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