In July, Screen Rant brought you news about everybody’s favorite bizarre-character actor, Johnny Deep being cast as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. This came as no big surprise since Burton and Depp are married, err… I mean close friends in a business-sense sort of way. They are well known as one of the biggest and longest running director-actor relationships in the industry and this will be their 7th feature film together.

On Wednesday, the big news came with Disney holding an all-day event and presentation where they again confirmed the Mad Hatter announcement and revealed some other interesting tidbits. During the showcase, Depp made an appearance sporting his full Jack Sparrow outfit and it’s confirmed that the infamous captain Jack will be back for more rum-induced wackiness in Pirates of the Caribbean 4.

Along with these announcements, it was also unexpectedly revealed that Depp is signed to play Tonto in an upcoming remake of The Lone Ranger. Tonto is just the sidekick to the main man in that film, so it will be interesting to see who will play the lead. Apparently, when Captain Jack first came on stage, he was sporting the lone ranger mask as well, and removed it revealing himself as Depp – much to the crowd’s excitement.

The 3D-animated Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean 4 are set for 2010 and 2011 release dates respectively. There’s no date set for The Lone Ranger.

Do you think a fourth, and possibly a fifth Pirates installment is good news? What do you think of Depp as the Lone Ranger’s sidekick? Who then should play the lead? I think it has to be big star otherwise Depp will steal the screentime and spotlight. As for Pirates, I’m all for it, as long as they’re taking it in a new direction which it sounds like they are. I thought the second film was watchable but the third one was awful.

Sources: IESB.net, Ain’t it Cool News