Who will Johnny Depp call Kemo Sabe?

Sept. 25, 2008 | 7:11 p.m.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp will play Tonto in a Disney revisitation of the Lone Ranger, but who will be the masked man?

The Hero Complex is officially supporting Viggo Mortensen for the role of mystery man of the Old West because, after seeing “Hidalgo” and the trailer for “Appaloosa,” we just think he does the dusty-trail adventure thing with a nice flair.

George Clooney would also give Disney a powerhouse tandem at the top of this hoped-for franchise, as well as some major opportunity for the type of winking humor that gave “Pirates of the Caribbean” its box-office flair. Clooney may be too old, but we still think he has enough silver bullets in his ammo belt. Depp, meanwhile, may be just five years shy of 50 but still approaches his acting career like a kid rummaging through a trunk of dress-up costumes. Not only will the part-Cherokee Depp be wearing the fringed buckskin, he will also be donning the garb of a pirate, a vampire, a gangster and, um, a guy with a funny hat.

The Oscar nominee has a busy schedule, to say the least. On Wednesday at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Disney gathered the press for a preview of its Lone_2 upcoming major releases and announced that Depp will be back in eyeliner as Jack Sparrow, the rummy scoundrel of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which will have a fourth installment with Jerry Bruckheimer back as producer. The franchise has already pulled in $2.6 billion at the box office. (Bruckheimer will also produce the Lone Ranger movie.)

Other Depp projects coming include a turn as the Mad Hatter in a Tim Burton adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland,” which will be a 2010 animated release with a motion-capture approach in the same vein as “Beowulf.” It will be Depp’s seventh major project with Burton — and No. 8 will be “Dark Shadows,” yet another black-cape affair for the movie-making partnership, this one a remake of the baroque soap opera from the late 1960s and early 1970s about an accursed family in Maine that, we suspect, had a lasting effect on a local youngster named Stephen King.

Depp will also be robbing banks as the gentlemen bandit John Dillinger in Michael Mann’s period gangster flick “Public Enemies,” due in theaters next year. That film also stars Christian Bale.

— Geoff Boucher

Johnny Depp photo from December 2007 by Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times

Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels as Tonto, from the Los Angeles Times archives.


33 Responses to Who will Johnny Depp call Kemo Sabe?

  1. JT says:

    Come ON, Disney. Where's the creativity? What happened? I hope it's sometime soon that audiences rise up against this creeping mediocrity in movies, the lack of daring or ambition that studios show. Man, I'd almost beg for an "Apple Dumpling Gang," "Charley and the Angel" or "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" out of Disney these days than another tired retread that is driven by marketing and "research," not by any real desire to tell a compelling, interesting story or just entertain an audience for a couple of hours. Even if it makes a zillion dollars, does anyone REALLY want a new "Pirates" movie?
    Disney has proven itself again to be deserving of an "A" for marketing and a bottom-of-the-barrel "F" for creativity or imagination.
    It's bad enough that they just do everything like the other studios. It's even worse when you consider the history, legacy and tradition of Disney as a creative company. Those days are obviously gone. Disney's now just in the "property management" side of the entertainment industry. They want to continue strip-mining their past to make more money. If they think that audiences won't ultimately catch up with them … then they clearly don't study their OWN COMPANY'S history!

  2. Emily says:

    YES we do want another Pirates movie!! And it's great that Johnny will be playing TONTO because it would be a crime to cover up that beautifu face with a mask. Who cares who they get to play the main character Johnny Depp will steal the show from him with his eyes anyway!!!!!

  3. Pat R says:

    Another resounding YES for a new Pirates movie!!! Looking forward to the Lone Ranger as well.

  4. me says:

    Yay! for Pirates!
    Maybe there are some people there who would like to see it. I don't see why people have to be so bitchy. If you don't like it then don't watch it.
    I'm also excited about the Lone Ranger movie. I'm glad he is playing Tonto.
    And of course Johnny will be the Mad Hatter! duh.

  5. Sherrie says:

    Of course, we want another Pirates movie!! And Disney is right on target bringing us more heros and retelling/updating the stories of our youth. It's all about our cravings for adventure and the comfortable feeling of seeing old friends mixed into one. And NO ONE is more creative than Johnny Depp when it comes to character development. Depp and Disney sounds like a great combo to me!

  6. Lori says:

    Some people just never have anything positive to say, I just ignore thiose people. they are uptight and snooty. If this is true, I personally think it's awsome. If anyone can pull all this off it's Johnny.

  7. Amesmb says:

    I, for one, don't want another Pirates movie. I love Depp & I love Sparrow, but 3 was enough. Heck, I'll even say that 3 was one too many because the last one was too long & too complicated. And I can't of any 4th installments of any franchise the lived up to their predecessors. If everyone says the it's fantastic & a must-see then I'll consider seeing it, but otherwise I'll pass.

  8. RP says:

    Even if some have negative things to say, it is obvious people want more pirates of the caribbean movies or they wouldn't be so popular and ofcourse it's JOHNNY DEPP, what's not to like? so anyone who disagrees, too bad, because these movies are coming soon and plenty are as excited as I am.

  9. Isaki Tahashi says:

    . . . . I cosplay as the good Captian Jack all the time XD So, uh, HECK YEAH for another Pirates!!! Depp even said that he wishes this character to never die so long as there's an interesting story. I am personally most excited for the Alice in Wonderland movie!!! >w< Oh, this is too good, I was all O_O when my friend told me. Very fitting for Depp. Tonto will be great as well! He was very adorable as a Native American in Finding Neverland, so I know he will do us Native's proud. n_n Dark Shadows . . .FINALLY he's a vampire! Jeez! Who could not have come up with that idea before?! About time! Depp always blows me away no matter his role, and how diverse they are stuns me still. None are alike, and so, I can easily say that he is by far THE best actor of our time.

  10. Dee2 says:

    Johnny Depp is already one of the actors of the ages. He is a-DEP-t at anything thrown his way. Love it when he plays the tough exterior and the soft heart on the inside that somehow comes through. Guys like him because he is cool and plays these crazy charactors, women love him for..uh many things!! KIds love him becuse of Disney creating all of these great movies that kids can see. Yes, pirate story line number one needed to be resolved to lead the way to many new storylines to keep feeding us Jack!! After all he is on the search to live forever….
    Now Sweeney, wow how awesome that Johnny will try anything like singing. My musician family members can be harsh but we were empressed, he did not do bad at all!! Johnny D 4-eva!!!

  11. RCS says:

    Man they're movies you enjoy them or not and you move on. I'd like to see more made like the old MGM crankin out movies and Disney dropping a new short story each week on TV. How cool would it be to watch the jack sparrow chronicles (of course with Depp since we're dreaming here) on TV each week. So many things to watch and you bitch. What did you write? Direct? Star in? Market? Hmm? Pray tell oh great one what have you ever done? Depp is awesome if Hunter liked him and I would not mess with the man who got a matched 454 pistol set with the good Dr.

  12. Tali says:

    I'm really excited to see the next couple of movies Depps going to feature in, he never fails to deliver. As for the topic of another POTC – I can't say in all honesty i enjoyed the third, it had its moments but it didn't do justice to the original. A fourth would probably kill off a good portion of the true fans if its going to do what 2 and 3 did and turn out only half as good (or less) than its predecessor.

  13. Doug50s says:

    PLEASE not Clooney!! Way too DULL and too much political baggage. Depp needs Kurt Russel as the Lone Ranger. What a duo! Box Office Guranteed. Bruckhiemer is way too smart to pick Clooney.
    on other re-makes:
    Creature From The Black Lagoon and Forbidden Planet had the two most timeless 'creature' designs in movie history. The Lagoon critter was as realistic and 'natural' as could be. Any changes will be a real shame. Robby is just gorgeous design work, how sad he might be re-imagined. If Black Lagoon is anything but a straight forward SERIOUS re-make IN 3-D, forget it. Clue: There are no teens in the original.
    Maybe if the Sci-Fi channel Flash Gorden had been REMOTELY interesting or had a real VILLAIN for a Ming rather than the grocery clerk look, it might have caused a peek or two past the first promo. It was horrible TV much less a mini pimple on a Hawkman's butt.
    You can keep the rest of the list as well. Why not remake great stories that might benefit from a bigger budget and the latest tech? Like The Monolith Monsters! Kronos! Tarantula!
    The Giant Claw! The Land Un known!

    • JDintheOC says:

      I agree, Clooney is NOT right for the part. Kurt Russell…maybe. Although I'd pick Pee Wee Herman before I'd pick GC. How about Mark Valley of Human Target?

  14. bookhobbit says:

    Believe it or not, I'm looking forward to another Pirates movie. Yeah, maybe it's milking it too far, but who cares? I enjoy them, they're fun, and I don't think I'll get tired of 'em for a while yet. Also can't wait for Alice In Wonderland~

  15. Xanatos says:

    The only good Pirate movie was the first one. Like everything else in this world since it made money they green lit the two sequels that were IMO were way too long in running time and the plot just lost itself in its own clumsy story telling.
    Disney is totally lost and if it wasnt for its partnership with Pixar (which they almost lost completely) they would be in more financial trouble then they are now. Disney went against Walt's no sequel policy and started making bad sequels to classic films and I do not think they have recovered.
    This is the new trend in Hollywood. The remake. The re-tool. The re-boot. The re-imagining. From the comics to the TVs they are going to remake everything. I mean they are making a movie about the video game "Asteroids". I mean are you serious? Asteroids? LOL.
    These movies will continue to come out and they will produce movies like Wolverine and Transformers 2 that were out right laughable in plot and story line and is getting killed in reviews but still raked in the bucks at the box office…this is also the trend. We do not demand good movies because we make these kinds of movie fodder, box office hits…so why should these studios and film makers care about making good movies when it seems it doesn't matter. This summer will seal the deal for more massive studio big productions with flimsy plots and characters that we just don't care about.

  16. pat says:

    I nominate Brendon Fraser for the part of the Lone Ranger, I think he would be great…

  17. I had no Idea Johny Depp was in Tim Burton's new Alice! WOW! now I really cant wait to see it – winning combination!!!!

  18. Derek says:

    Why not Christian Bale as The Lone Ranger?

  19. Derek says:

    If the producers are going for a younger cast. Why not Shia Lebeuaf as The Lone Ranger. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tonto.

  20. Linda says:

    You know Johnny's Tonto will be quirky, so Mortenson would be too serious IMO. George Clooney in Oh Brother Where Art Thou was hilarious. Clooney is not too old, and is strong enough to keep Depp from completely running away with the story…whatever it may be. From what I've seen, neither actor takes himself too seriously so a good time should be had by all. Let's get on with it and bring on the horses.

  21. Nettie says:

    I would love to see Viggo as the Lone ranger he is such a good actor. Pirates 4 is going to be great!!! I love Johnny, especially as jack. arent movies an escapism and thats just what it is. Just fun & Adventure who wants to have to think the whole time we are watching a movie. We do that in everyday life. Movies should take us where we cant ever go. For a short time we can pretend we are a pirate or a cowboy. Just relax & enjoy .

  22. Markus Acoba says:

    Johnny Depp is the hottest sexiest and most hilarious person in the world! How could anyone not love him! My friends all love Orlando Bloom but Johnny Depp is sooo much sexier and better than anyone else in the world!

  23. […] announced in 2008 that Johnny Depp (who has some Cherokee heritage) would take on the role in a new film version of the Lone Ranger, although the project seems to have lost […]

  24. Inesi says:

    Oh, yes, I would like Viggo as the Lone Ranger. He is a very funny person, has very similar humor with Johnny Depp (jokes makers and so on). Between the two of them they could create wonderfull, hilarious portraits of this characters. Because I hope they go for a comedy more than an action movie, really, would make much more sense

  25. LuAnne Beutel says:

    I for one would like to see Viggo in a comedy role for once.

  26. Pauline says:

    I think it is a fun idea for Depp, but with his comedy they need a real Lone Ranger, Robert downey Jr would probably be the best, and he could be a very strait Ranger and Tonto could be classic Johnny Depp.

    to do it would take a lot of input from both actors, maybe even filming some scenes with doubles to make sure they did not break up each other and influence the movie.

    Depp could make many under the breath comments and narratives. Dumb white man tries to go unnoticed with a mask. Its a white horse, not Silver. Silver bullets, I can buy a good horse for one bullet.

    There are just too many good lines.

    Of course he could be found to be a non American Indian in the end of the movie and a Hindu.

  27. Pauline says:

    I think it is a fun idea for Depp, but with his comedy they need a real Lone Ranger, Robert downey Jr would probably be the best, and he could be a very strait Ranger and Tonto could be classic Johnny Depp.

  28. […] and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have been talking about a Lone Ranger feature film for years and announced in 2008 that Depp would be on board.  The project has been slow to the screen, though, with Depp’s dense […]

  29. john says:

    clooney is not a real box office draw. check out his track record if you don't believe it. oceans 11, 12 ,13, etc. are truly ensemble flicks. + he is way too old.

  30. Hedge funds are usually structured as partnerships, with the general partner being the portfolio manager, making the investment decisions, and the limited partners as the investors.

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