Will The Lone Ranger be the second coming of Pirates of the Caribbean when it hits theaters on Wednesday? Probably not. But we’re pretty sure it’s going to accomplish something else entirely: It’s where Johnny Depp is anointing co-star Armie Hammer as his protege in the rarefied category of actors who are as ridiculously hot as they are goofballs.
They don’t call ‘em “teaser trailers” for nothing. The first preview (other than what was shown at Comic-Con) of Disney’s The Lone Ranger premiered on The Tonight Show last night, and it’s already got all sorts of critics debating the movie’s merits and flaws, despite only running for 1:37 minutes. Some are debating whether Johnny Depp’s appropriation of the 1950s TV show’s stereotypical Indian speak is racist. Some seem relieved that despite the fact that the movie is a re-teaming of Depp and his Pirates/Rango director Gore Verbinski, it’s got a serious tone reminiscent of a Christopher Nolan film. Others are calling it “an episode of Hell on Wheels with an unusually large budget.”
But you want to know our chief complaint? There are so many sexy scenes of trains, the Wild West, horses, old-timey prostitutes and rich dudes, but only the briefest of glimpses at Armie Hammer (you know, the guy whose character is the name of the movie) in a mask or grimacing and not uttering a single word. What gives, guys?
Anyway, we still think it looks cool. And we’re holding out hope that we’ll see at least one shirtless Armie pic between now and June 2013.
[Photo: Walt Disney Pictures]
Johnny Depp is officially a Native American, everyone! According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Lone Ranger actor has been officially adopted into the Comanche Indian tribe, the American Indian group of which the movie’s fictional Tonto was a member. As a result, we look forward to Johnny being adopted by the Brotherhood of Vampires With Fabulous Bangs, the Bizarre Pirates Guild, the Alliance For Creepy Bob-Wearing Confectioners, and Scissorhands United, LLC. Did we miss any characters he could be officially declared?
We’re only half-kidding. Depp has claimed Cherokee and/or Creek Indian heritage in the past, and has made it clear that his take on the famous Native American sidekick will be much more than a supporting role. “I reached out, and Johnny was very receptive to the idea,” President of Americans for Indian Opportunity LaDonna Harris said of Depp’s ceremonial induction. “He seemed proud to receive the invitation, and we were honored that he so enthusiastically agreed.” So do you think the Comanche tribe maybe hadn’t see the bird hat and Manson make-up Johnny is rocking in the film’s first promo pic there? Unless…unless that’s the exact costume warn by real Comaches? In which case, scrap The Lone Ranger and just do a biopic on their amazing head wear! We’ll see it thrice!
We got our first glimpse of The Lone Ranger this morning, tweeted by none other than megaproducer Jerry Bruckheimer himself, who knows how to get people excited. And just this little tease of Johnny Depp’s outlandish Tonto costume is indeed enough to get us revved up. “What’s coming will show you why this isn’t going to be your grandfather’s Lone Ranger and Tonto…,” Bruck teased before posting the pic. The movie just finished its first week of filming, after all sorts of delays, so we’re trying to keep expectations low for a while. We do like how Depp manages to keep such a serious look on his face while wearing an entire dead bird on his head.
Naturally, any photo of Johnny in an extravagant costume brings to mind all the other kooky characters he’s brought to life. And makes us wonder, where will Tonto — and for that matter, his other upcoming character, Dark Shadows vampire Barnabas — fit in with the likes of the Mad Hatter, Willy Wonka and Edward Scissorhands? Peruse our list of 12 (we tried to bring it down to 10 but just couldn’t) of his weirdest alter egos, and then vote for your favorite!
After finding out about Johnny Depp’s pay cut, which the Rum Diary actor took to help reduce Lone Ranger‘s budget, we sort of feel obligated to see it. The man got paid more money than the GDP of Spain for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies; the fact that he took a hit for this one intrigues us. Depp tells MTV News that after production of Lone Ranger was shut down back in August, he, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer all agreed to take a smaller salary in order to to drop the movie’s budget down to a slender $215 million. Filmmakers also cut out some CGI sequences for cost. Considering the movie is a Western, that was probably a good call.
However, it wasn’t just the opportunity to ride a horse as the Lone Ranger’s companion Tonto that had Depp invested. As he explained in his interview, “But also I like the idea of having the opportunity to make fun of the idea of the Indian as a sidekick — which has always been [the case] throughout the history of Hollywood, the Native American has always been a second-class, third-class, fourth-class citizen, and I don’t see Tonto that way at all. So it’s an opportunity for me to salute Native Americans.” Well, you definitely do not see a lot of satirical racial commentary in big budget adventure movies either. So consider us in!
Somewhere, one eyeliner-stained tear is running down Johnny Depp‘s face. Reportedly Disney has shut down its upcoming action film The Lone Ranger, starring The Social Network‘s Armie Hammer as the masked defender, and Johnny as his Native American sidekick Tonto. As of right now the film’s production has been stopped, which suggests that the film may be abandoned or potentially sold to a different studio. No word on the reasons behind the move, though you have to think the fedora budget for Depp’s character alone would have potentially bankrupted the company.
Sadly, the news of the stoppage comes soon after reports that the Lone Ranger film would actually have been extremely awesome, rather than the dry, alien-free Western we had believed it to be. “It’s an effects-heavy CG thing due to being a kind of an Indian-spirituality werewolf movie — a.k.a., The Lone Ranger Meets the Wolfman,” Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere reports, indicating the film “was going to be at least partly about some kind of Native American wolfbeast tearing victims apart and leaving a bloody mess.” So what if Johnny’s fedora was just a CGI werewolved? Funding crisis solved!
Who is that masked man? Oh, it’s the Winklevoss twins? Guess that answers our question. As was rumored, The Social Network‘s Armie Hammer will star as The Lone Ranger along side Johnny Depp‘s Tonto, after beating out Ryan Gosling for the role. The crusading duo will be directed by Rango‘s Gore Verbinski, in a take on the horse-riding crime fighters that is distinctly different than the original shoot-up. The Pirates Of The Caribbean 3: On Stranger Tides star told Entertainment Weekly, “I remember watching [the show] as a kid and going: ‘Why is the f—ing Lone Ranger telling Tonto what to do? I knew Tonto was getting the unpleasant end of the stick here. When the idea came up [for the movie], I started thinking about Tonto and what could be done in my own small way try to reinvent the relationship, to attempt to take some of the ugliness thrown on the Native Americans — not only in The Lone Ranger, but the way Indians were treated throughout history of cinema — and turn it on its head.” Taking on a century of institutional racism sounds like a tall order for one action flick, but if anyone is up for, it’s Depp. If nothing else, you know he’ll be a lot of smirky fun.
[Photo: Splash News Online]
Is it crass to say that we’d be his trusty steed if Armie Hammer plays the Lone Ranger? Oh, it would be? Excellent. It turns out those Ryan Gosling Lone Ranger rumors proved false when the Blue Valentine star passed on the role, though we wouldn’t have kicked either Gosling or the Social Network star out of our…tent? lean-to? campground? In addition to playing Prince Andrew Alcott in upcoming The Brothers Grimm: Snow White alongside Lily Collins, Hammer is allegedly in talks to ride or die beside Johnny Depp‘s Tonto in the gunslinger flick. Let’s be honest here, people: there’s not a whole long that’s attracting us to this cowboy crimefighting movie other than the unbearable hotness of the proposed leads. Well, that’s not exactly true. You know whatever Depp does with the sidekick role, he’s going to spend 85% of the film smirking and/or acting drunk. Add that to the image of Armie in a face mask, and it’s probably enough to make us go see this film in theaters.
[Photo: Splash News Online]