Gore Verbinski Attached to Direct THE LONE RANGER Starring Johnny Depp as Tonto

     November 23, 2010

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In Hollywood, some projects can take a while to get off the ground.  In May of 2007, Steve reported that producer Jerry Bruckheimer wanted to re-team with Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski for a new Pirates-style take on The Lone Ranger with a script by POTC screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio.  It turns out we were slightly early on that report.  After a report in September that said Verbinski was finally in talks for the gig, Deadline is now reporting that he’s officially on board and that Johnny Depp will play Tonto.  There’s currently no word on when production will start or who will play the title character.  Depp and Verbinski recently collaborated on the animated film Rango, which is set to open on March 4, 2011.

Hit the jump for recap of Verbinski’s other projects as well as a brief refresher on The Lone Ranger.

Verbinski and Rossio are currently developing a supernatural police procedural for Fox called Magical Law.  Verbinski is also producing an adaptation of the video game Bioshock directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later).  Finally, this past summer Verbinski was in early negotiations to direct The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but we don’t know if those negotiations resulted in him signing on to the project.

For those who aren’t familiar with The Lone Ranger, here’s a brief synopsis [via Wikipedia]:

The Lone Ranger is an American radio and television show created by George W. Trendle and developed by Fran Striker.

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.” The sayings, as well as the theme music from the William Tell Overture, are indelibly stamped in the memories of millions of Americans (and Britons) who came of age during the decades of the show’s initial popularity or viewed the television series run nearly continuously for past fifty years. Reruns of the Lone Ranger as portrayed by Clayton Moore are still telecast today (August, 2010) sixty-one years after their production and initial broadcast. The character has become an icon of American culture.

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