With Pirates of Caribbean director Gore Verbinksi officially attached to direct the big screen version of The Lone Ranger, it’s no surprise attention is now focused on who will play the titular hero himself. The newest names to hit the pot come from none other than Tonto himself — or star Johnny Depp:
“There’s so many interesting possibilities out there. Brad [Pitt] would be great. [George] Clooney would be great. Don’t know who it’s going to be just yet.”
Depp is currently filming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with director Rob Marshall for a May 20, 2011 release. Pitt has a slew of upcoming films including the long-awaited Tree of Life from director Terrence Malick, which opens on May 27, 2011. The Lone Ranger is set for a 2012 release. Hit the jump for more.
The suggestion makes sense as Depp would likely have bumped into Pitt while filming The Tourist with the Inglourious Basterds’ wife Angelina Jolie – he would know better than anyone whether Pitt’s acting sensibilities would play off his own. Still, while Depp may have quite a bit of pull in Hollywood, the decision will likely rest in the hands of Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
I remain cautiously optimistic about The Lone Ranger, especially considering its long-delayed pre-production process. It took nearly three years for Verbinski to officially climb on board, even after the inclusion of box office behemoth Johnny Depp. Personally I wish Verbinski had taken the directing gig on the big screen adaptation of the video game BioShock (though Juan Carlos Fresnadillo remains a solid choice), something that more soundly fits his directing abilities.
Still, this latest rumor suggests a rather unique take on the legendary series, especially in regards to its depictions of Native Americans. Depp explains to Entertainment Tonight:
“Native Americans in cinema, over the past however many decades, have been treated somewhat shabbily. This one has plans to rectify that.”
Hmmm … the whimsical (even comedic) tone of Pirates meshed with the down-to-earth realism of Dance with Wolves? Starring Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp? I’d pay to watch that.
Here’s a synopsis of the TV show:
The title character is a masked Texas Ranger in the American Old West, originally played by George Seaton (radio), but more famously by Clayton Moore (television), who gallops about righting injustices with the aid of his clever, laconic Native American companion, Tonto played by (amongst others) John Todd, Roland Parker, and (in the television series) Jay Silverheels. Tonto usually referred to the Lone Ranger as Kemo Sabe, meaning “trusty scout”. Departing on his white horse Silver, the Ranger would shout “Hi-yo, Silver, away!” as the horse galloped toward the setting sun, followed by someone asking “Who was that masked man, anyway?” “Why he’s the Lone Ranger.” [Wikipedia]