After trudging through a rough patch, production is finally set to begin on Disney's Johnny Depp-starring reboot of "The Lone Ranger."
Principal photography for the big-budget film will start in February in New Mexico, Governor Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Film Office announced Friday.
Production for director Gore Verbinski's movie is planned in and around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Shiprock and other locations in New Mexico. It is expected to continue in the state until the middle of August.
New Mexico officials said they've been working with Walt Disney Studios for more than a year to bring "The Lone Ranger" to New Mexico.
“ 'The Lone Ranger' is proof that New Mexico’s film industry is alive and well,” Martinez said. “As we continue to build upon our reputation as a premier film production center, we are pleased to welcome 'The Lone Ranger' to our state.”
“We couldn’t be happier to bring 'The Lone Ranger' production to New Mexico," producer Jerry Bruckheimer said in a statement. "The state’s world-class crews, local talent and spectacular locations will be critical in helping us take this iconic story and legendary characters to new heights."
Production was originally supposed to start in October, but in August, Disney stopped the project due to budget concerns.
The budget was initially estimated to be between $250 million and $275 million, but Disney, Verbinski and Bruckheimer trimmed it to approximately $215 million.
In mid-October, Disney announced that the project was back on.
"The Lone Ranger" is due to hit theaters May 31, 2013. It had originally been scheduled for release on December 21, 2012.
"The Lone Ranger" features Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid, a.k.a. the Lone Ranger.