It shows how jaded I am that when I reported on Disney shitcanning Jerry Bruckheimer’s Lone Ranger movie yesterday, it didn’t even occur to me to ask why a movie that was presumably a traditional western had a $250 million budget. (As Brendon at Durden wrote, “It’s a lot of money, but try to think of even one western that cost less that 200 million. You can’t name even one can you? If you wan’t to film two guys on horses, it’s gonna cost you.”) Well now we have the answer to that question, and it’s werewolves. That’s right, we almost got a $250 million movie called Lone Ranger that was about werewolves.
“It was always going to be a big Bruckheimer CG movie with traditional Bruckheimer elements [and] an eye toward being a tentpole –totally Pirates-style. It was going to be a Tonto show mainly. Tonto as the top dog and more dominant than the Lone Ranger. Tonto and the Indian spirits like Obi Wan Kenobi and the force. 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.” [hat tip: Screenrant]
Indeed, because what better way to honor Native American mysticism than through a European myth recently repopularized by a kid with washboard abs in a movie about sparkly white vampires based on a book written by a Mormon? Jesus, my head hurts. This is why I hate Bruckheimer movies. You can see an excerpt from the screenplay to the right.
“But then Cowboys & Aliens came along and tanked and Disney got cold tenderfeet, spooked by the idea of a pricey mashup. If Cowboys & Aliens had made $200 million, this wouldn’t be happening. A Bruckheimer-style western in the wake of Cowboys & Aliens is nothing anyone is feeling secure about at this stage. Trust me, the writers of tentpole garbage are all scared now.”
“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.”
Man, someone at Cowboys & Aliens deserves a gift basket for killing this project. I also like how the writer throws around Indian-related terms like “tenderfoot,” like the dude who spent two weeks in London who now calls everyone “mate.” “Haha, sorry for the confusion there, kemosabe. You see I picked up all this ‘injun’ slang (as they call it) when I was studying Native American culture to write a film in which Johnny Depp fights werewolves.”