Gore Verbinski And Johnny Depp Saddle Up For The Lone Ranger

It looks like Gore Verbinski is going to team up with Johnny Depp again. This time the duo, who has previously worked together on three movies about pirates and a cartoon about a bug-eyed chameleon name “Rango”, is going to bring “The Lone Ranger” back to the movie theaters.

Verbinski is locked in to direct, and Depp will play Tonto, the Native American warrior who finds the wounded Texas Ranger who ultimately becomes the masked Lone Ranger, saves his life, and nurses him back to health. Justin Haythe (“Revolutionary Road”) wrote the script, and Jerry Bruckheimer is going to produce the whole shebang for Disney.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the origins of the Lone Ranger:

Originally, the masked man’s true identity was not revealed, though it was hinted that he might be a historical Western hero (such as Wild Bill Hickok). Then, after a preliminary version of the character’s now-standard origin appeared in the Republic movie serial (1938) and elements of that story were worked into the radio series, the hero was revealed to be a Texas Ranger named John Reid, one of six Texas Rangers massacred by the Cavendish Gang. After entering a canyon known as “Bryant’s Gap,” the Rangers were ambushed by Butch Cavendish, leader of the “Hole in the Wall Gang”, and a man named Collins, who had infiltrated the Rangers as a scout. Cavendish then shoots Collins in the back, reasoning that someone who would betray the Rangers could also betray his gang.

Reid’s childhood friend, a Native American known as Tonto, comes upon the massacre scene and discovers Reid is still alive. Tonto takes him to safety and nurses him back to health. Tonto reminds Reid that, when they were young, Reid had rescued him after renegade Indians had murdered his mother and his sister and left him for dead. Reid had given Tonto a horse, and Tonto insisted that Reid accept a silver ring, which is how Tonto recognizes the seriously wounded Reid. Tonto’s tribe was seldom specified. Some books say he was probably supposed to be an Apache, while the radio programs identified him as a Potawatomi.

How close Haythe’s script is to the origin story remains to be seen. There is no word on who will play the titular role, or when production might begin.