‘Lone Ranger’ trailer showcases Johnny Depp, frontier action-adventure

April 17, 2013 | 2:12 p.m.

The latest trailer for “The Lone Ranger” is out, and it’s heavy on frontier action, with scenes of speeding locomotives, arid Western vistas, shootouts and one giant explosion, not to mention lots of chummy camaraderie between Armie Hammer’s title character and Johnny Depp’s Tonto. A cheeky Helena Bonham Carter also turns in an appearance.

The new clip helps relate the story of how the masked man came to acquire his white hat, his best friend and his thirst for justice and suggests the same kind of comedy-inflected action-adventure that has helped make the Depp-led “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise so valuable for Disney.

Set for release July 3, “The Lone Ranger” sees Depp team up again with his frequent collaborator, director Gore Verbinski. The pair worked on three of Disney’s ultra-successful “Pirates” films in addition to the acclaimed animated release “Rango.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Depp, Hammer, Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer appeared in an interactive Q&A live from Las Vegas to talk about the project, which gives Tonto a far more prominent role than he had in the original “Lone Ranger” saga.

The actor said he tried to find a new way in to the character, “Not to take away from anything the great Jay Silverheels did,” Depp said, referring to the actor who played the role on the classic television series.

“As a kid when I watched the show I didn’t understand why Tonto was the sidekick,” Depp said. “I always felt a little unnerved about it. In terms of research, the goal really was to try to in my own small way right the many wrongs that have been done to [Native American] people and to show Tonto not only as a proud warrior but as a man just a bit outside.”

Verbinski told Hero Complex in 2011 that he’s interested in a sly, somewhat subversive version of the classic Old West adventure that presents the “faithful Indian companion” as the wry central voice of the story. The plot centers on the advent of the railroad in the American West and hijackings that ensue.

Disney unveiled its first trailer for “The Lone Ranger” at Comic-Con International in July of last year, then released the clip for general audiences in October.

– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

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