Johnny Depp talks about plans for his 'Lone Ranger' reboot -- EXCLUSIVE

depp-lone-rangerImage Credit: Solarpix/PR Photos; Everett CollectionJohnny Depp is still planning to star in Disney’s planned big screen version of The Lone Ranger, he tells EW exclusively. “I think it’s going to be good, when we have a chance to put it up on its feet,” says Depp of the project. The actor will play the role of Tonto in the project, which is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer with original Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski attached to helm. “What we’ve got so far screenplay-wise is really great, really funny.”

Depp, who is part Cherokee, feels a special connection to the role of Tonto. “I always felt Native Americans were badly portrayed in Hollywood films over the decades,” he says. “It’s a real opportunity for me to give a salute to them. Tonto was a sidekick in all the Lone Ranger series. [This film] is a very different approach to that partnership. And a funny one I think.”

For more about Johnny Depp’s future movies, the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film On Stranger Tides, and all the rest of the stuff you’ll be watching, hearing, and reading in 2011, pick up the new 2011 Preview! issue of Entertainment Weekly.

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Comments (207 total) Add your comment
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  • Sol

    Oh dear.

    • FromChicago

      If Johnny, who’s from Kentucky, can convince (me) that he’s part Indian, then I’m for it….but it seems that whites are already dominating Hollywood roles…you would think they could find a Latino male, or Indian male to play the part.
      If anybody noticed the awards showss on TV recently, it was a sea of white faces. This country is part Black American, part Asian and Latino, and you tell me what Hollywood can’t find good materials for non-whites? something is wrong here.

      • FromChicago

        Okay, he stated he’s part Cherokee, I guess I can get with that.

      • Cori

        Get over it From Chicago. Depp is part Cherokee, among other things. By the way, I did see Halle Berry at the Golden Globes. She’s not all white.

      • houstondoc

        actually there are a lot of people of native american decent specifically cherokee in kentucky and tenessee and north carolina. It would not suprise me a bit that he would be.

      • Wendy

        I agree. I saw too few people of color in the audience. Last year a popular magazine had “the new faces of Hollywood”story on it cover with the article inside, and there was not one person of color.

      • FromMIchigan

        Yes get over it, one half black person in Hollywood makes everything ok!

      • steve

        somebody has to write the part to fit the image. simple as that. so Banderas should play tonto?

      • M

        Johnny Depp is sexy. Thats why he is the right guy for the job…it doesn’t matter what his decent it…he’s HOTTT – WITH 3 Ts!

      • Jimmynog

        Jimi Hendrix was 1/4 Cherokee, is that to supposed to mean anything? I wonder why anyone attaches any importance to these things, including Depp.

      • gary rue

        Cause they’re Rich and White so they can make things the way they want them. Asians are annoying anyhow.

      • mlh

        If the character is Native American, the actor should be Native American. Kuddos to Johnny Depp.

      • sittingbull

        Insult to native actors everywhere. Another part taken by a white actor pretending to be native. I hope it bombs.

      • electric52

        Why complain about Holywood being all white, how about all those Latino TV stations that are all …. yes … get ready … Latino … you’d think they could find some whites for them Latino parts.

      • RedStick

        Hey Sittingbull, take out your wallet and check to see if you have any $20’s in it. I’ll bet you do, hypocrite.

      • Bloodyscot

        Depp will do a great job, while a more natural looking Indian would seem more real, the fact is there are very few with the experience or name recognition needed and that needs to change.

      • Cygnus

        To those wondering where the color is in Hollywood, it’s because ticket payers don’t want to see their movies. Only a handful have success, because they choose not to sell-out and play stereotypical gangsta and slave rolls. Acting like any other job requires years of honing the skill, paying your dues, and getting noticed. You can’t instantly start having 100 more persons of color at the GG or Oscars, when they havent done anything to deserve to be there.

      • Blame Leno

        Wow Cygnus…so what you’re saying is people of color don’t have any training which is why they can’t get any roles and white people are clearly trained and spend years on their craft and this is why they get roles. Plus the fact that America doesn’t really want to see people of color whose roles are notoriously gangstas and slaves. I’m just trying to make sure I got all your sweeping generalizations down. Ok Got it…thanks!

      • Charles

        electric52 hit the nail on the head. Wanna know what movies primarily star blacks and latinos? Movies about the ‘black’ or ‘latino’ ‘experience’. That crap is BOOOORING. White actors comewithout the hangups that minorities have. Maybe Hollywood can be like the NFL and throw a bone by interviewing one actor of color for every role. Actually no, that would be crap.

      • mgc6288

        Gee, get over it. Affirmative Action in Hollywood??? Just go by talent – instead of bashing Hollywood then maybe one can boost the potential that the “minorities” didn’t receive. Heck, why not *privately* sponsor a minority to become the next Tom Cruise.

        Why should anyone be given special treatment based on race or gender? The white male this is well overrated – heck just go to a court room – they’re the most discriminated bunch in there!

      • mgc6288

        Uh, what poor spelling:

        The white male thing is well overrated – heck just go to a court room – they’re the most discriminated against bunch in there!

      • joseph smith

        SEE ITS PPL LIKE THAT why the color line will never disappear.. who cares wat races they are as long as the play the part….

      • Mari

        I agree there are many brilliant native american actors who can take these roles…also not sure if this is true, but mo Mom always says there’s a law that these roles have to be played by actors of the ehnic origin of the character.

      • linda blackman

        johnny has been in a few indian character movies. in his bio it tells about his family and his indian ansestery.

      • linda blackman

        by the way….why so racist. this is 2011. get a life.

    • stadalbert

      Who is going to play the Lone Ranger?

      • happytrails

        Heard about this a year ago. At that time Depp wanted George Clooney.

      • Big Walt

        I was looking up articles and saw this has been in the works since 2008. I’m not going to hold my breath.

      • linda blackman

        a good choice for the lone ranger would be……..suspense and hushhhhhh…….ben aflak9I CAN NOT SPELL SORRY0 or matt damion.

    • President Elect Sarah Palin in 2012

      Sweet Mother of Sarah Palin, why oh why does he need to do this?! Impeach the One-Termer.

      • John

        Irrellevent Republican political spam: How completely tacky.

      • President Elect Sarah Palin in 2012

        It’s spelled “irrelevant”. Of course a tacky worshipper of the criminal One-Termer would get that wrong. HAH! FACT!

      • Rica

        Go away.

    • Project Questor

      It might be watchable… as long as it does not star Will Ferrell as The Lone Ranger.

  • bagabou

    Brad Pitt should play Lone Ranger, would be great casting these 2 in a movie!!

    • John

      No, Seth Rogen! He’s on a roll!

      • 127WJ

        Seth Rogen can’t act himself out of a paper bag unless he can say the “F” word about a 150 times or more during a movie.

      • Jango Davis

        That’s a better diea than you think…in the comics, the lone ranger is a direct ancestor of the Green Hornet and they both share the last name…Reid

      • John

        You’re both being completely unoriginal and unimaginative… how about someone completely unexpected? It’s supposed to be a comedy (so says Depp), so how about someone like Patrick Warburton?

    • AlleyP

      Yess i totally agree with you bagabou!

  • Dan Too

    Dear Johnny,
    The Lone Ranger is not supposed to be “really funny.” Smells like Wild Wild West part 2.

    • Bman

      “The Lone Ranger is not supposed to be “really funny.” Smells like Wild Wild West part 2.”

      Wild Wild West 2 was already done. It’s called “The Green Hornet.”

      • Dan Too

        Did you know that The Green Hornet and the Lone Ranger are related?

    • xs

      Johnny Depp is awesome. Will Smith, not so much.

  • Brett

    Sounds like it’s going to be “Tonto & the Lone Ranger.” Politically correct, undoubtedly. Still, Gore Verbinski gave us three entertaining “Pirates” movies, so I’ll reserve judgment ’til I see it.

    • Big Walt

      I thought it was a joke when they said he would play Tonto. I had to read it about three times. Weird.

    • Will

      No, Gore Verbinski gave us one good Pirates movie and two annoying sequels with the unbearable “Turners”

      • MB

        Absolutely correct.

      • chuck

        no, bore verbinski gave us 3 great pirate movies and heres hoping 4, 5,and 6 are all good too.

    • lwatcdr

      This will be bad. The original Lone Ranger actually showed Tonto as the Lone Ranger’s friend and as close to an equal as any movie from the time. As I sidekick goes he was much closer to an equal than most sidekicks in westerns. And he was played by a real native american.

      • oldguy

        I have to guess it will be an over-the-top spoof as gay crusaders but I can’t wait to see how they get past what today will be an impossible line: ‘Hi-Ho Silver, AWAY!’

  • Shiny

    Basta. I can’t take any more cartoon movies about D list superheroes. We’re not talking about Superman. This is a black and white TV show from the 50’s.

    • David

      Lone Ranger was a superhero? I thought of him as a masked vigilante. Same thing?

      • Dan Too

        What do you think Batman is? …except on the 60’s show where they made a point of saying he was ” a duly deputized agent of the law.”

    • D’s Advocate

      @Shiny: Before that, the Lone Ranger was an extremely popular radio show in the thirties. The character’s been around longer than most of those characters I’d consider to be superheroes–including Superman.

  • Suncatcher

    I LOVE this idea!!! The Lone Ranger was a huge hit in the 50s. I would cast Will Smith as the Lone Ranger to Depp’s Tonto. Great fun! Who’s gonna play the horses: Silver and Scout???

    • Mole

      Will Smith in the old west…what could possibly go wrong?!

      • lj


      • D’s Advocate

        You win a lifetime supply of EVERYTHING, Mole.

      • james

        Funniest retort EVAH!

  • Lily

    Can’t wait. When Johnny D. is having fun, we the audience have fun too! Pirates of the C, Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka, etc. He rocks when he gets to “play.” Bet this will be wonderful.

    • Dave

      Notice anything funny about the movies you listed? They are all copies of older productions. Not one new idea on the list. This is what Depp has chosen to typecast himself as. An “actor” that is too insecure to chose an original role……just go with the one that makes the bucks. Feed America old rehashed ideas, take their money, and laugh all the way to the bank. Hollywood is eating you alive and you don’t even know it.

      • bascan

        I’m with you, laughing all the way to the bank of Hollywood. But I must point out that we’re all adding to this including yourself. By posting here you adding to the hype. And Hollywood just keeps rolling along. Johnny Depp earned his stripes and did only the roles he felt he could add something to. The first Pirates was never expected to be a blockbuster, but he made it so. Now he takes projects not necessarily for the money but for the fans. He does the things he thinks the fans want to see, he doesn’t need the money. He’s always there to pay attention to the fans becaue he beieves that they are the ones keeping him employed. Like him or hate him, if you pay any attention, you’ll find that he’s a person of intregrity in a smoke and mirrors profession.

      • Brett

        Notice something funny? “Pirates” wasn’t a copy of an old production, it was an original story based on an amusement park ride.

      • suesark

        loosen up hemmorhoid!

      • xs

        Dave, you sound like a pretentious tool. You took the time to comment and probably have seen all of the movies you mentioned. I bet you don’t watch t.v. either.

      • therealeverton

        No they are not “copies”. How can a film of a book be a “copy”? Are any of the films of Henry V, Macbeth or Romeo & Juliet copies?

        As said above POTC was a highly original story using characters and themes from a ride! So in fact none of the 3 things mentioned, Alice, Charlie or POTC are copies at all!

  • Susan

    I want the Dark Shadow reboot! Then I will be willing to see JD in any other reboot, but DS first, please.

    Also, any idea yet on who would play the Lone Ranger?

    • Cori

      Susan, I totally agree with Dark Shadows!! Barnabas can have one side of my neck, Sweeney Todd the other!

      • Emjay

        I’m on the same wavelength as you gals!

    • the floacist

      Don’t confuse remake with “reboot”.

  • Ed TV

    We’re the Hakowi. I suspect this will look more like F-Troop’s Indians than anything else.

  • jason

    Jon Hamm would make a good Lone Ranger.

    • Lily

      GREAT idea!!

    • MsSuniDaze

      That was my first choice too!

  • jwald

    Christian Bale as the Lone Ranger with Depp as Tonto must happen!

    • TV/Movie Fan

      I agree with Jwald; Christian Bale as the Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as Tonto sounds great. I hope it is nothing like The Wild, Wild West (1999) or Jonah Hex (2010). I also hope it’s a 2D movie, not a 3D film.

      • Brett

        Sorry, it’s going to be a JD movie, not a 3D movie.

    • steph

      oh my god, my head would implode.

  • Big Walt

    How about Clooney for the Lone Ranger. He hasn’t done a Western yet has he?

    • Big Walt

      Bruce Campbell would have been perfect, 15 years ago : (

  • nancy jo

    Ryan Reynolds would be quite enjoyable. Johnny, total hotness

  • Angela

    Jon Hamm would be an amaze choice for the Lone Ranger!

  • Dannie

    Jon Hamm for the Lone Ranger would be the best choice!

    • casey

      I saw Jon Hamm at the Globes the other night. He’s kind of strange looking. What’s up with his mouth?

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