Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski will reunite for ‘Lone Ranger’

Nov. 24, 2010 | 8:15 a.m.
lone ranger and tonto Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski will reunite for Lone Ranger

Vintage advertisement with Lone Ranger and Tonto

The Lone Ranger will ride again and “Pirates of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski will be calling the shots for the Disney.

Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have been talking about a Lone Ranger feature film for years and announced in 2008 that Johnny Depp would play the role of Tonto, the faithful friend to the masked man. The project has been slow to the screen, though, with Depp’s dense schedule and the emphasis by the studio, producer and star on their massively successful “Pirates” franchise, which has pulled in $5.35 billion in worldwide box office with three films and has a fourth scheduled for release next summer. Now, though, with Verbinski on board, the Lone Ranger revival might move into gallop mode.

The 45-year-old Verbinski has been working as director and producer on “Rango,” the Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures animated feature with Depp in the title role. That movie has a strong early buzz and a fun, quirky trailer with a bulging-eye character that might remind some viewers of the Budweiser frogs ad, which was one of Verbinksi’s signature successes when he was directing commercials. (Verbinski, a Tennessee native who moved to California in his youth, also made his mark directing music videos, like this one and this one, and played in bands himself.)

With “Rango” (which also stars Abigail Breslin and “Pirates” alum Bill Nighy and marks the first animated feature film for Industrial Light & Magic) arriving in March, Verbinski will be free soon to go off into the Old West adventure. The tapping of Verbinski for the job was announced in a Variety story Wednesday morning but it was hardly surprising (and there were rumors reported) after the success of the three “Pirates” films. That franchise is now under the command of director Rob Marshall (Chicago“).  The big question now is who will wear the mask in the title role of the movie and when exactly the film will reach theaters…

— Geoff Boucher


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4 Responses to Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski will reunite for ‘Lone Ranger’

  1. Tex Hill says:

    As an actor who also played the Lone Ranger once (and did many circus tours as the masked man), I only have one complaint…Tonto was ALWAYS portrayed by a real Indian actor in films & TV (not on radio though)…with all of the talented Native American actors in Hollywood, why couldn't Verbinski have gone that route?
    BTW:…did any of you know that (again, not counting all the radio actors) over 18 actors have at one time or another played the Masked Man in films & TV???…Just a bit of trivia for y'all….Merry Christmas to all & a wonderful New Year!!!!!

  2. Jason Davis says:

    I agree, Native Indian actors..GOOD ones.. are out there. Wes Studi for one! Hollywood loves to mess things up, and not necessarily for the better. Ugh!

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