Back in August, I brought you the news that Disney had dropped plans to make a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Lone Ranger movie starring Armie Hammer with Johnny Depp as Tonto. The reason? It was going to cost between $250 and $275 million, which seems slightly expensive for a western. Well now, the principals have reportedly come to a deal, agreeing to make the film for a paltry $215 million, reteaming Johnny Depp with Gore Verbinski and the team behind the first three Pirates movies. HEROES! It’s so nice when people can put aside petty greed for a soulless cash grab.
Last we heard, the project was so expensive partly because it had frickin’ werewolves in it. But according to THR, those got dropped before the current incarnation. WHAT?! BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE A LONE RANGER MOVIE WITHOUT WEREWOLVES!
The original script included werewolves and other supernatural creatures from Native American myths [WENDINGO!!! -Ed.]. Those bells and whistles have been jettisoned, but according to sources who have read recent drafts, three massive action set pieces involving trains remain, including one described as the biggest train sequence in film history. [THR]
Ooh, trains, we’ll need an experience injun tracker to find one of those. Meanwhile, here’s what Terry Rossio had to say about the draft of the script he co-wrote and Johnny Depp’s interest in the project:
The driving engine was going to be Native American occult aspects worked in with werewolves and special effects, [b]ut flavored with doses of Native American spirituality in a serious way.”
“Depp’s interest in playing Tonto is about fulfilling his Marlon Brando legacy,” the director-writer believes. “Depp is partly Native American himself and he was partly mentored by Brando, who was a big Indians’ rights advocate. So he didn’t want to do any kind of jaunty performance that plays it light and spoofy with the Native American thing. No Captain Jack crap this time around.” [source]
Ahh, yes, fulfilling his Brando legacy. As a tireless advocate for Indian’s rights who wears tons of dangly accessories (“they call me ‘Tanning Bull'”), why WOULDN’T Depp, a white man, want to paint himself up like an Apache and dance around a Jerry Bruckheimer movie doing Indian crap? It would be the perfect tribute. It’s just like when I pay respect to my black brothers and sisters by covering myself in shoe polish and demanding to know where the white women is at. I’m told it is the song of their people.