It’s going to be interesting to see what Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski have in store for Lone Ranger. From day one the director/star duo – who’ve worked together on the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and the animated film Rango - have stated their intention to offer audiences a twist on the classic tropes and stereotypes of old west films; and as stated, it’s going to be interesting to see just what that new vision is.
Depp (who plays the titular lawman’s iconic Native American sidekick, Tonto) has been particularly vocal about his desire to do something different with how Native Americans are portrayed onscreen, and the set of Lone Ranger photos you’ll see today feature Depp (as Tonto) meeting with prominent members of the Navajo Nation where filming is currently taking place.
Check out Depp as Tonto and actor Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger, posing for photos with President Ben Shelly and Vice President Rex Lee Jim of the Navajo Nation:
As Shelly told Entertainment Tonight, they Navajo Nation is proud to have Disney’s production on doorstep: “We are honored the movie The Lone Ranger is being filmed here on the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation has beautiful landscape and we are glad it is being shared through filmmaking.”
Turning cinematic tropes, stereotypes and cliches into fodder for satire and comedy is all the rage these days – see Cabin in the Woods for a recent example – and Depp and Verbinski certainly had some practice doing that very thing with their animated exestentailist western, Rango (which I thought was great, personally speaking). The question is: will the wider audience respond to their vision?
We are talking about the same director and star – as well as super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer – who made the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie leap out of nowhere to become a hit franchise that also revived the high-seas action/adventure film. Even with the production delays and budget woes this film has suffered, this combination of talent should, at the very least, deliver a competent and fun summer blockbuster. Whether they can achieve something greater than that remains to be seen.
Lone Ranger will be in theaters on May 31, 2013