17 August 2011 10:14 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Blame Cowboys & Aliens. When Disney ditched (or postponed) Gore Verbinski's pricey $250 million Johnny Depp remake of The Lone Ranger, the studio wasn't just applying the brakes to runaway costs. It was also just saying no to billion dollar producer Jerry Bruckheimer. He brought the studio four lucrative--but increasingly expensive--Pirates movies, among other hits like Crimson Tide, Armageddon, Enemy of the State, National Treasure and Remember the Titans. And he also delivered costly disappointments Prince of Persia, G-Force, Pearl Harbor, King Arthur and Sorcerer's Apprentice. But he was applying Pirates-level costs to a period western. Bruckheimer and Verbinski will presumably reduce the scale of their ambition to a mere $200 million and get back to work. Disney, whose transitional chairman Rich Ross has been »

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