Johnny Depp finally gets in the saddle as ‘Lone Ranger’ begins shooting

02.28.12 6 years ago

AP Photo

After a number of bumps and detours on its way to production, Disney and Johnny Depp’s update of the legendary “Lone Ranger” saga is finally ready to hit the trail.

The film is reuniting the “Pirates of the Caribbean” gang — Depp, writers Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, with hopes that they’ll strike the same box office gold as that ongoing series.

Depp is playing the Native American spirit warrior Tonto, while Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) is saddling up to play the title hero.

Told through Tonto’s eyes, the film recalls how Texas Ranger John Reid (Hammer) became the masked vigilante, as the two unlikely heroes team up against greed and corruption in the Old West. The character first appeared on the radio in the ’30s and went on to spawn movies, comics and a hit ’50s TV show. Will we get to hear the hero exclaim, “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!” in the new version? Maybe not, but at the very least, we’ll likely hear someone ask, “Who was that masked man?”

Tom Wilkinson (“Batman Begins”), William Fichtner (“Black Hawk Down”), Barry Pepper (“True Grit”) and Helena Bonham Carter co-star.

Elliot and Rossio co-wrote the script with Eric Aronson and Justin Haythe. “Lone Ranger” will be shot location in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Initially slated for release this coming December, the film was delayed due to budgeting concerns, and will now open nationwide on May 31, 2013.

Verbinski and Depp recently teamed for the Oscar-winning “Rango,” and it seems like the director is in competition with Tim Burton to see who can helm the most Johnny Depp movies. Burton is currently putting the finishing touches on the Depp starrer “Dark Shadows,” which comes out in May.

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