First ‘Lone Ranger’ Image: Yet Another Weird Johnny Depp Costume

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 1st, 2012 at 2:12 pm,

The Lone Ranger Begins Shooting in February First Lone Ranger Image: Yet Another Weird Johnny Depp Costume

After what feels like a short eternity of production delays due to a budget which (at one point) had inflated to over $250 million, Gore Verbinski’s unorthodox Lone Ranger movie has at last begun principal photography. Verbinski is reuniting with his Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy star Johnny Depp on the flick, which features Armie Hammer (The Social Network, Mirror Mirror) as the titular gunslinger, and Depp as his more capable sidekick Tonto.

Lone Ranger producer Jerry Bruckheimer (also a Pirates franchise alum) has tweeted the first image of Hammer and Depp in costume. As you might imagine, Hammer as the masked John Reid looks conventional enough while Depp as Tonto looks like… well, a very “Depp-ish” take on the traditional American Indian character.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis, followed by the aforementioned image of Hammer and Depp in costume:

“The Lone Ranger” is a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.

johnny depp armie hammer lone ranger image 570x400 First Lone Ranger Image: Yet Another Weird Johnny Depp CostumeCLICK FOR LARGER VERSION

While few people might’ve predicted the specifics of Depp’s Tonto outfit (especially the stuffed bird on his head), is there anyone who’s genuinely shocked to see the actor will be donning unusual makeup and strange body decorations in Lone Ranger? After all, Jack Sparrow’s eccentric look was also personally fashioned up by Depp.

NOTE: As some readers have pointed out, Depp’s Tonto getup may not be as unprecedented or bizarre (at least, in terms of historical accuracy) as one might think at first.

Case in point: check out this artist’s rendition of a Dakotan American Indian in traditional attire, and compare it to Depp’s outfit:

nativeamericanart1 First Lone Ranger Image: Yet Another Weird Johnny Depp Costume

Artwork by Kirby Sattler (

Verbinski previously promised that Lone Ranger will be “photo-real… a complete stepping back over the fence from ‘Rango’,” but that doesn’t mean the former is going to be a fully (if at all) grounded western adventure. Considering that an earlier draft of the film’s screenplay featured “supernatural coyotes,” an elaborate animated sequence, and other seeming incongruous elements, it stands to reason that Lone Ranger could feel more like the third – and overall most peculiar – of the Pirates films, At World’s End, rather than a comparatively down-to-Earth western like, say, 3:10 to Yuma (for better or for worse).

The Lone Ranger rides into theaters around the U.S. on May 31st, 2013.


Source: Jerry Bruckheimer

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  1. will this turn out to be more of a “Stoned Ranger, and his Indian friend Toronto”?
    I’m just so leery of anything Depp is in. in my book, he doesn’t have a very good track record.

    • Will his Indian friend be imaginary as a result of Depp being stoned? :D

    • are we a bit jealous perhaps — johnnie is always very hot!!I cant wait to see it.. He is unique ion that he is absolutley gorgeous, doesnt let fame get in his head and always take a different character.. he has class:)bit the bullet and admit your jealous!!

      • I will admit I used to be envious of Depp, he was getting good roles and doing good work on a consistent basis, but lately he’s been doing a lot of questionable pics. If he doesn’t become more discerning he’s going to end up like Travolta. The Lone Ranger has a lot of fans, and that synopsis stinks. It reads like every other update classic series that Hollywood has done. I can’t believe someone gets paid to write this stuff, and I really can’t believe someone green lights it like its the most original thing they’ve ever read.

    • Just happened to see your comment about Johnny Depp. “in my book, he doesn’t have a very good track record.” If you have him confused with someone else, O.K., but if you can look at the long list of successful, money making movies he’s made and the characters he has created, and then say he doesn’t have a very good track record, BOY, are you on the wrong track. Either that, or your standards are the impossible dream.

  2. This film is horribly miscast, I will not be seeing it

  3. depp looks like pochohontas if she had a crack problem :}

  4. Wow, before opening link I thought Depp was Lone Ranger and an actual Native American was Tonto…bah! Reminds me of spaghetti Westerns in which White guys are painted like ‘Indians’. If that is what this movie is going for then good start so far. Dont get me wrong Depp is a great actor but playing Tonto?!?!

    • I thought the same thing! I was always under the impression that Johnny Depp was going to be the Lone Ranger.

  5. You people are aware that Johnny Depp has some Native American ancestry, right? Cherokee, I believe.

    Anyway, I love this!

    • Yep, and so does Kevin Costner, Chuck Norris, jessica beil, and megan fox.

      • It’s almost amusing that people still bring up the whole “So-and-so has Native American ancestry!” Yes, maybe some distant lineage, but Johnny Depp doesn’t look Native American, not by a long shot.

        Similarly, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has some Chinese ancestry, but he shouldn’t be playing an Asian character.

        • Why is it that Whites as praised for having ties to some king, queen, or knight, and others are told to dismiss their relatives? Johnny’s maternal grandmother is Cherokee, therefore Johnny is Cherokee.

          The discussion usually progresses to how much the person is. The US government introduced the idea of blood quantum, and applied it to Indians and Blacks. Traditionally, Indians didn’t make the distinction. They even adopted non-Indians, and in some instances elevated that person to a rank of distinction, like Principal Chief or Beloved Woman. But as the years progressed, tribes bought into the blood quantum.

          Years ago, a worker at the unemployment department asked me to pick a racial identity. After repeatedly trying to explain that I wasn’t just one, I realized that these were only words on paper, not people.
          Relatives and ancestors shouldn’t be measured by a spoon, cup, or drop. All our relatives and ancestors make up who we are. All of them.

          I am Lenape, Cherokee, and European.

  6. Depp does have Native American ancestry (his grand-grandmother is Cherokee or Cree Indian), and he does look the part. I am officially interested in this.

    • I personally don’t think he looks the part. He himself doesn’t look Native American. Not by a long shot.

      • “I personally don’t think he looks the part. He himself doesn’t look Native American. Not by a long shot.”

        And, yet he’s Native American on both his mother and father’s side.

        And, he has the strong Cherokee features from his eyes to his jaw. And, the man’s skin tans to a deep red brown, since that is the main skin undertone of the Cherokee people.

        But, yeah. Nothing Native American about him…

  7. It’s a big movie, not meant to play the film fest circuit. Depp will probably surprise us, this is meant to be serious take on native american culture. Most likely Lakota Nations warrior. Yet there will be comedy intertwined with the action/adventure with The Lone Ranger playing a naive-hot-shot-egotistical-do-gooder. I am laughing all ready.

  8. Why couldn’t they have someone who is actually Native American play Tonto?

    • 1) because Depp has wanted to play this role for quite a while.
      2) Depp does have Cherokee in him.
      3) Refer back to point 1.

    • I didn’t hear too many people complain that a Brit was not playing Jack Sparrow…besides, have you seen some of the chiefs in the actual Native American tribes now a days?

  9. Depp RULES! The highest paid actor by far (55 million for Pirates4) & deserves every dime!
    This will ROCK!Tho it would be better if it was a LIVE crow on his shoulder like my fav movie The Crow!

  10. Tonto as a Medicine Man? I……… yeah I just don’t know.

  11. Good looking pick. Depp looks pretty cool. No doubt he’ll pull this off. And you can see his heritage when you look at him. Anyone saying they can’t is lying.

    I find it funny how everyone is posting to say they won’t see the movie. Why bother?

  12. Bleh. Walking away from this one. Another great character shattered on the mantle of Hollyweird.

  13. Agree with Lone Lawyer and Indian Jack Sparrow. What really decides me on not seeing this movie, though, is the trite synopsis.

    I suppose the TV version back in the day was incredibly trite, too, but for a child, at least, it did have thrills. This “Lone Ranger” synopsis, at least, is not thrilling.** Not at all. Darn it.

    **Definition of “thrilling”, per OE Etymology: Giving a shivering, exciting feeling.

  14. O… M… FREAKIN’… G… I’m just so in shock of just how badly they are going to screw this up. You KNOW this ridiculously STUPID rendition of the characters is bad when it even makes the 1980′s movie version look good.
    They just wasted MILLIONS of dollars on something that I’m sure I’m not alone in the fact that I wouldn’t even bother DONWLOADING in ANY way, shape or form to see.
    This is just downright disgusting and made me lose all the great respect I HAD for Jerry Bruckheimer… SHAME, JERRY! YOU’RE A COMPLETE MORON FOR DOING THIS!!!

  15. Wow, the ignorance flag is flying high on SR’s comment board today.

    Depp is Native American – and not that 1/16th Native American nonsense that most people born in the US claim.

    He’s Native American on both his mother and father’s side. And, it obviously means a lot to him, considering his first tattoo was in dedication to his Native American roots.

    And, for those who say he doesn’t look Native American – you clearly don’t know very many.

    If you did, you’d instantly recognize those high cheekbones, piercing dark eyes, strong jaw line, and even the width of his face (very common to many Native American tribes, as well as, their related tribes in Central and South America).

    And, it clearly looks like Depp did his homework, considering how nearly identical his look is to the image of the Dakotan above.

    Seems like the only people out of touch here aren’t Depp and the movie’s producers – it’s the SR readers.

    • What is all this fuss about Depp allegedly being part Native American? As noted, he looks the part, and that’s the important thing, what people will pay for (in addition to his attraction as a big star).

      Jay Silverheels looked the part, too, and was. He was a member of the Canadian Mohawk tribe and died on the Six Nations Reservation in 1980. He was authentic, a Native American TV star in an age when such roles often were still played by white people, and he got typecast as a result and his career ended. Authenticity isn’t all that great in and of itself, apparently.

      But if you can put a little spin on it, the public will eat it up. Iron Eyes Cody looked the part but was born Espera da Corti, the son of Sicilian immigrants. He just lied about it and ended up working in 200 films and those PSAs where a tear runs down his face because the white man has polluted the land.

      Talking about authenticity in Hollywood is not just self-defeating…it’s a joke.

      In a perfect world, Depp would lose the makeup and the bird and channel his inner native (we all have one, as Iron Eyes Cody knew) into the story and out onto the screen and give us, perhaps, a bookend performance to “Dead Man”…or he wouldn’t portray a Native American onscreen at all.


  17. Really, people? Really? What has someone’s native authenticity have to do with movie making? It’s called ACTING, for crying out loud. Men play women, and vice-versa, blacks play whites, and vice-versa, people play monkeys, cartoons play people, etc., etc. The question is, can Depp pull it off? He could be full-blooded Cherokee and stink up the screen if he was a poor actor. Fortunately, the man is at the top of his game when he takes on new and diverse characters. It’s what he does best, and obviously what he loves to do most. As for me, I’m just in it for the eye-candy! HI-YO TONTO, AWAY! (… to my bedroom just down the hall…)

  18. this black suit does not fit in. the lone ranger was in buckskin and should not be changed. johnny depp should lose the bird or bat thing on his headdress then he could be tonto. please don’t defile my heroes of my youth like this

  19. At least Depp has some cherokee in him.

  20. I don’t care if you like him or not. If Johnny Depp did not have a crazy outfit, makeup, or CG Lizard likeness, he would, in fact, cease to exist entirely. But I dare ask… Are the caricatures made up? Or are THEY the real Johnny Depp? When Robin Williams does a serious role it makes me wonder how much elephant tranquilizer do they shoot him up with. Depp is more like something let out of a cage rather than placed in one.

  21. Now, if the bird on top of his head talks and makes wisecracks, that would be worth the price of admission.

  22. I love how people judge a film by looking at ONE PHOTO. I, personally, am looking forward to this. A lot.

  23. I am 83 years old today. I grew up listening to The Lone Ranger on the radio and seeing him in the comic pages of the newspapers.

    After many years of contemplation and evalulation I have determined that The Lone Ranger is a great kiddy adventure fairy tale and should be treated and accepted as such. To take our comic book hereos so damn seriously as we are doing today and trying to mold them into a realistic presentation borders on sick.

    If you want REAL, consider the fact that The Lone Ranger wore a mask. WHY? To conceal the fact that he deserted from the Texas Rangers to become a vigilante and take the law into his own hands. Hardly commendable and in no way making him a hero. He took an oath to uphold the law as a Texas Ranger and obey the Texas Ranger code of ethics. He threw that oath down into the dust and stamped it out.

    This is a hero? This is someone to emulate? This is someone to allow our children to look up to? If the law doesn’t meet our needs, then ignore it and do whatever you personally think is right to acquire justice.

    Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

    It’s just a comic strip for Christ’s sake.

  24. PLEASE need to know WHO the artist was for the Dakotan American Indian illustration above. It is is absolutely breathtaking!!

  25. Does no one realize that Tonto was Comanche? Comanche tribe natives didnt look like that at all. The artist of the painting even admits that his work isn’t historically accurate. That painting is based off of a another tribes tales, it has nothing to do with Tonto. Preeeeeeetty weak.