I always enjoy a good game of “What if?”
For example, there is an alternate dimension somewhere that is almost exactly like ours in every detail except instead of “The Lone Ranger,” Armie Hammer played Batman in “Justice League.” After all, it almost happened.
The thing is, George Miller’s “Justice League” was going to be perhaps one of the most radical takes on superhero mainstream iconography so far. That’s awesome, and I think George Miller is one of our truly great underrated filmmakers. He never gets enough credit or respect, in my opinion. I think he’s got a great eye, I think he gets the strangest things out of his actors, and I love his taste in terms of film-craft.
Over time, I’ve seen little glimpses of things that didn’t happen for one reason or another from people working at FX houses and post-production studios, and one particularly heartbroken e-mail buddy sent me a photo of a suit he’d been part of in some way, a Batman suit. It was not like any Batman suit I’ve seen in a movie so far. It was like someone who never actually saw Batman had someone describe the character to him, and he started from scratch and ended up with this real-world mechanical body-armor thing.
One of the things that I was most surprised by at the press day for “The Lone Ranger” was when someone reminded me that Armie Hammer is only 26 years old. He does not carry himself like the vast majority of 26 year old guys, and I think that’s because of the world he grew up in. But when I brought up “Justice League,” Hammer lit up and immediately went up about 50% in enthusiasm, and he finally sounded like a 26-year-old guy, pumped up because of a badass Batman costume. I thought it was an incredibly revealing and human moment for him.
I like Hammer, and I think he gives everything he’s got as “The Lone Ranger.” I just think it’s the film that fails him. He does what they hired him to do, and he goes toe to toe with a full-blow-wack-job Johnny Depp performance, so that’s saying something. That’s not easy for anyone.
We’ll have more of our “Lone Ranger” interviews this week, including Jerry Bruckheimer, William Fichtner, and of course, Johnny Depp. In the meantime, here’s my review.
“The Lone Ranger” opens July 3.