Verbinski saddling up for The Lone Ranger with Depp

Hi-Yo Silver, away! Deadline is reporting that Gore Verbinski will saddle up and direct The Lone Ranger for Disney. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp have also signed on, with Depp set to play the role of Tonto. Wait, Tonto?

The Lone Ranger, set in the Old West, is a masked Texas Ranger who rides around on his trusty steed, Silver, righting injustices with the help of his Native American friend, Tonto. An icon of American culture, the role of the Lone Ranger is yet to be cast. There is also no word on whether he will don the skimpy black eye mask to “hide” his identity.

You may remember The Lone Ranger television series; it was that show with the hammy acting and the overture from the 1829 opera William Tell as its theme song. If you were born after 1970 you may not know how big Westerns used to be; lounge rooms filling with the sounds of gunshots on a Saturday was a common occurrence. Perhaps along with this film, Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens and Joel and Ethan Coen’s upcoming True Grit, Westerns will see a true revival.

This won’t be the first film Verbinski and Depp have worked on together. Verbinski has directed Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean films and in the upcoming animated film Rango. Depp voices Rango, a chameleon who must step up and be the hero when he arrives in a Western town plagued by bandits … sounds like good practice for The Lone Ranger.

Discuss: Alright, let’s get casting! Who should play TLR?

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