Disney's $190M Loss on 'The Lone Ranger' Could Impact 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5'

Now may be a good time to say a prayer for Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg as they hit the big time helming Pirates of the Caribbean 5, because some rough seas are definitely ahead. This week we've heard from Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, basically blaming critics for The Lone Ranger being terrible and failing at the box office. It's a laughable notion, but  with Disney forced to chow down on a whopping $190M loss(!!!), they aren't laughing about a damn thing and now are looking to tighten the reins on producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Disney is looking to change the terms of their deal with Bruckheimer that gives him final cut over each 'Pirates' film. They're also hoping to trim the massive budget considerably, in hopes of keeping it to around $200M, which just goes to show how bloated the other installments have been. Most of that can be blamed on director Gore Verbinski, who routinely gave the Disney bean counters fits with 'Pirates', and also skyrocketed The Lone Ranger's budget past the $225M mark. While Disney has the upper hand in any negotiations right now, it's tough to take their demands seriously because they threatened to shut down The Lone Ranger over Verbinski's spending, only to give him everything he wanted and more.

With last year's $250M disaster John Carter still fresh in memory, it was inevitable that there would be some major consequences after another high-profile flop. It's just unfortunate that Rønning and Espen could be the unfortunate victims of it, as the franchise desperately needs new blood and an unfettered creative voice. This is a fight between Bruckheimer and Disney that could stretch months, but there's plenty of time to get it ironed out as Pirates of the Caribbean 5 doesn't open until July 10th 2015. [TheWrap]