Having survived some very public budget battles and the possibility of being canceled outright, Gore Verbinski's "The Lone Ranger," starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, is back in the saddle with everyone they wanted, and headed in front of cameras...but it looks they're are going to need to do some casting again.
Country musician, actor and all around badass Dwight Yoakam has left the film, citing the always vague "scheduling conflicts." Yoakam first signed on way back in July, taking the meaty villain role of Butch Cavendish (played by Glenn Strange in the show), who leads a band of baddies across the west killing and stealing. It's a bit of a loss for the film as Yoakam brings a unique ability to look fearsome and be both frightening and deadpan hilarious all at the same time. We can only imagine his presence lent a certain shape and direction to the character, and whoever comes aboard next will likely have a wildly different take.
So, we'll have to chalk this up to What Could Have Been. Still time to find a replacment though. The project continues to motor along with a May 31, 2013 release date just over the horizon, and we presume the rest of the cast -- Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale -- is still intact. [Deadline]