Johnny Depp Talks THE LONE RANGER and Dr. Seuss Biopic; Reveals Seuss Characters Will Appear in Film

by     Posted 3 years, 33 days ago

slice_johnny_depp_01

After Disney nearly pulled the plug on the big-budget adaptation of The Lone Ranger, the production is now a go.  Director Gore Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer all agreed to take pay cuts, and Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio reworked the script by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road) to excise some of the more costly aspects.  All in all, the creatives involved were able to bring the budget down from $250 million to $215 million (which is still an insane amount of money for a western).  While the behind-the-scenes drama is well documented, very little about the actual movie is known.  Depp recently talked a bit about the project and elaborated on the direction the film will take. He also touched on the Dr. Seuss biopic that he’s producing (and possibly starring in), revealing that the project will include some of Seuss’ beloved characters. Hit the jump to see what Depp had to say.

gore-verbinski-johnny-depp-01This weekend Depp did an interview with Larry King on CNN and revealed that there’s quite a bit of humor in their version of The Lone Ranger:

“There is a script, it’s a very funny, good script…there’s a boatload of humor.”

The brushes of comedy aren’t that much of a surprise given that the project is basically a reunion of the team that made the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films: director Verbinski, producer Bruckheimer, screenwriters Rossio and Elliott, and of course Depp. Given the budget, one assumes that The Lone Ranger will be a large-scale action-adventure pic in the same vein as the swashbuckling trilogy.

the-lone-ranger-tv-series-imageDepp also talked about his approach to the character of Tonto and how the film will eschew the conventional “sidekick” role:

“What I like about Tonto is the idea that this character who is thought of as ‘the sidekick’—that’s the thing that always bugged me about The Lone Ranger is ‘Well why is the Indian the sidekick? Why does he have to go get you that thing?’ And I couldn’t stand that always. My approach to Tonto is that there’s this crazy like a fox stoicism to Tonto that Tonto probably believes that The Lone Ranger is his slave, his sidekick. So it’s like ‘Go get me the thing,’ ‘No, no, no you go get it. You’re the one dressed in the funny outfit, you go do it.’”

johnny-depp-imageThe actor has been talking about reinventing the Tonto role since the project’s inception, so this really isn’t anything new. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if Depp will be the “star” of the film, or if he and Hammer will have an equal share of screentime.

While the story of how Depp invented his Pirates character Jack Sparrow is now the thing of Hollywood legend, it appears that he’s got something special up his sleeve for Tonto as well:

“What I like about Tonto, what I feel good about Tonto is that I feel like he’s—you know when I came up with Captain Jack I thought ‘Okay I’ve really arrived at something different here,’ and Tonto feels right on par with Captain Jack, it feels like another Captain Jack to me.”

The actor also revealed that he’s already been through some costume tests for Tonto and tells King that it’s “a little more than” the one feather headdress. And for those wondering if Tonto will find love, Depp says there’s no love interest for Tonto in their Lone Ranger (though there’s always hope for the inevitable sequel).

theodor-geisel-imageDepp also briefly touched on the Dr. Seuss biopic that he’s developing. Depp will be producing (and possibly starring) through his Infinitum Nihil in collaboration with Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind animated flicks like Despicable Me and the upcoming Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.  While the involvement of Illumination on the project was a bit confusing, Depp revealed that the film will be a combination of live-action and most likely animation (although he stopped short of saying what the live-action would be combined with).  He also said Seuss’ characters will be in the film:

“It’s something we’re developing with Seuss’ widow, Geisel’s widow. It’s a very exciting possibility, because it’s a combination of live-action and…the characters will certainly have a role.”

The idea of Depp starring in an unconventional Dr. Seuss biopic that includes manifestations of the author’s extraordinary characters is definitely an exciting prospect. Hopefully everything comes together and we’ll get to see the actor take on an offbeat drama in the vein of Ed Wood.

For those of you interested, here’s Depp’s full conversation with King. Beware, annoying interjections by King abound:

Larry King: What happened to The Lone Ranger?

Depp: It’s still up and running.

The budget was too high and they were not gonna do it. You have Indian blood right? What tribe?

Depp: Yeah. I was always told it was Cherokee growing up and stuff, but it may be Cherokee it may be Creek, I don’t know exactly.

Is there a script?

Depp: There is a script, it’s a very funny, good script.

It’s a take off of The Lone Ranger?

Depp: Yeah.

Is it funny?

Depp: There’s humor, yeah. There’s a boatload of humor in that.

Does Tonto get to say Kimosabe?

Depp: Oh yeah.

Who is The Lone Ranger?

Depp: It’s gonna be a guy named Armie Hammer. It looks like it’s gonna all come together in January.

johnny-depp-image-2Oh it’s gonna happen?

Depp: Yeah, we got the budget down.

That’s good to hear. So you play him tongue-in-cheek? How are you gonna approach Tonto?

Depp: What I like about Tonto is the idea that this character who is thought of as “the sidekick”—that’s the thing that always bugged me about The Lone Ranger is “Well why is the Indian the sidekick? Why does he have to go get you that thing?” And I couldn’t stand that always. My approach to Tonto is that there’s this crazy like a fox stoicism to Tonto that Tonto probably believes that The Lone Ranger is his slave, his sidekick. So it’s like “Go get me the thing,” “No, no, no you go get it. You’re the one dressed in the funny outfit, you go do it.”

Are they gonna do the beginning where all these bunch of rangers are killed and Tonto saves The Lone Ranger’s life?

Depp: Yeah there’s certainly elements of that for sure.

Is there a love interest?

Depp: Not for Tonto, no.

dr-seuss-imageWill you do your own Tonto makeup? Have you figured out, will he have a headdress? One little feather?

Depp: Oh I think it’s a little more than that. I’ll tell you what, I’ll send you a picture of it. I’ve done some tests. I’ll send you a picture of it because it’s a little bit different than that (laughs). What I like about Tonto, what I feel good about Tonto is that I feel like he’s—you know when I came up with Captain Jack I thought “Okay I’ve really arrived at something different here,” and Tonto feels right on par with Captain Jack, it feels like another Captain Jack to me.

Are you doing the film about Dr. Seuss?

Depp: Yeah, it’s something we’re developing with Seuss’ widow, Geisell’s widow. It’s a very exciting possibility, because it’s a combination of live-action and…

Cat in the Hat?

Depp: Not Cat in the Hat so much but just that the characters will certainly have a role.




Like Us


Comments:

FB Comments

Click Here