Here’s something that should strike you as surprising – Johnny Depp is not under contract for an potential sequels to The Lone Ranger.
Depp mentioned this in an interview with E! Online, noting, “I think it was a one-shot deal… If they started talking sequel on this I’d be ready to go in a second.”
Of course, that would mean studio Disney would have to negotiate a new contract with Depp, who plays the Ranger’s partner Tonto in the new film, which would definitely be in the actor’s favor.
These days, it is standard procedure to include in an actor’s contract stipulations for pay increases in the case that there are any sequels to the film. This is to help the studio keep sequel costs low and to prevent actors from being able to do what Depp is now in position to do – Have the upper hand in negotiations over salary and perks for returning to a burgeoning franchise.
Lone Ranger stars Armie Hammer and Ruth Wilson both noted that their contracts have sequel options, so I guess this goes to show how much muscle Depp already has when it comes to his contracts with Disney.
We should know in about a week if this will be a moot conversation or not. The Lone Ranger is set to open tomorrow evening and so far the film has a disastrously low 25% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Will audiences bypass what the critics are saying? The combination of Depp working with his original Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy director Gore Verbinski is a potentially strong lure for movie-going families. We’ll see.