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May 09, 2011

‘Lone Ranger’: Masked man need not be a star, says Bruckheimer

Posted in: Movies

The actor who will ride alongside Johnny Depp’s Tonto in “Lone Ranger” has big boots to fill, but he probably won’t be an established star, according to producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

“You want somebody who can do the humor and somebody who’s attractive and charismatic,” said Bruckheimer, of casting the iconic masked man in the upcoming Disney reboot. “But I think it will be somebody who’s not that well known. That’s my guess.”

Armie Hammer in "The Social Network."

Armie Hammer in "The Social Network." (Merrick Morton / Columbia Tristar)

Bruckheimer’s “guess” would support the rumors that Armie Hammer, the square-jawed newcomer who played the old-moneyed Winklevoss twins in David Fincher’s Oscar-winning drama “The Social Network,” is a front-runner for the title role.

The producer is busy this month promoting that other Depp movie, due in theaters May 20 — “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” — the fourth in the so far $2.68-billion franchise and the first to be directed by Rob Marshall instead of Gore Verbinski.

Bruckheimer and Verbinski will join forces again on “Lone Ranger,” which Verbinski has said will be ” ‘Don Quixote’ told from Sancho Panza’s point of view.”

“It’ll be kind of a dramedy,” Bruckheimer said of the western’s tone. “It’ll have a lot of fun to it.  Johnny’s gonna create a really fascinating character like he did with Captain Jack. He’s got a real vision for it.”

Writer Fran Striker originated the characters of the Lone Ranger and his loyal Native American companion for radio in 1933, launching a franchise that would grow to include comic books and movies and peak in popularity with a 1950s TV series starring Clayton Moore as the ranger.

“I think it’s time to bring the western back,” Bruckheimer said. “If we don’t do it, somebody else will. Don’t forget eight years ago the media was saying we were crazy to do a pirate movie, that they’d all failed and especially a pirate movie about a theme park ride. You can’t do that. And look what happened.”

– Rebecca Keegan

twitter.com/@thatrebecca

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