The Lone Ranger and Thor 2 release dates pushed back

With The Lone Ranger budget trimmed Disney, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and director Gore Verbinski are now aiming to begin filming in February. The delay in production has rendered the December 2012 release date impossible, so Disney has pushed The Lone Ranger back to summer 2013, and to make room they’ve pushed the Thor sequel back to later in the year.

The Lone Ranger, which stars Armie Hammer as the title character and Johnny Depp as the Ranger’s Native American companion Tonto, will now be released May 31, 2013, which is a week before Fast Six. As well as Depp and Hammer, the movie will also feature Dwight Yoakam, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale and Barry Pepper.

With Disney now in charge of Marvel’s slate it wouldn’t be wise to have multiple tentpoles in the summer of 2013. Iron Man 3 is already set for May 3rd, so to avoid overcrowding Disney has pushed Thor 2 back from July 13, 2013 to November 15, 2013. Having The Lone Ranger as a summer film makes most sense given that it carries a higher financial risk, and a big-budget Depp movie usually pulls in the summer crowds.

Thor is already a proven franchise, so it shouldn’t have too much of a problem with a late-2013 release. It’s only competition so far is Catching Fire, the second film in The Hunger Games saga. No director has been hired, but Patty Jenkins is the likely contender.