Ryan Gosling Could Become The ‘Lone Ranger’ [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 10:47 pm,

[Update: A rep for Ryan Gosling is saying the actor will not appear in Lone Ranger.]

Director Gore Verbinski and actor Johnny Depp will return to the western genre once again with the in-development film version of The Lone Ranger, now shortened to just Lone Ranger. Judging by the pair’s previous comments about the project, it promises to be just as unconventional an Old West adventure as their recent animated collaboration, Rango.

Depp has been prepped to portray the Ranger’s loyal American Indian sidekick Tonto for a few years now, but there’s been little discussion since about who would portray the titular star of Lone Ranger – partly because Depp’s involvement and the name brand are the really big selling points for the picture.

The Wrap has learned that none other than Oscar-nominee Ryan Gosling is in talks to sign on as The Lone Ranger, a masked Texas Ranger who adheres to a strict moral code and fights injustice in the American Old West. Gosling would follow in the footsteps of Clayton Moore, who famously portrayed the titular character in the 1950s’ Lone Ranger TV series – and Klinton Spilsbury, who starred in the poorly-received Legend of the Lone Ranger movie in 1981.

Here’s what Verbinski has said in the past about his planned approach to the Lone Ranger mythos:

“We’re not going to do it [straight], everyone knows that story. I don’t want to tell that story. I want the version from the untrustworthy narrator who might be a little crazy — but somehow the question is, is he crazy or is the world crazy? That, I find fascinating.”

So it sounds like Verbinski’s Lone Ranger will be less the traditional noble-minded hero and more an off-beat, even comical cowboy creation in the vein of Matt Damon’s Texas Ranger from True Grit. Take that as you will.

Matt Damon True Grit Ryan Gosling Could Become The Lone Ranger [Updated]

Damon in ‘True Grit’.

Gosling is already onboard as the leading man in Warner Bros.’ remake of Logan’s Run, which aims to begin filming by the second half of 2011. While that could affect his availability to join Depp in Lone Ranger, Disney is currently planning on a 2014 release date for the film – so if negotiations with Gosling don’t work out, it shouldn’t be related to a scheduling conflict.

So what would Gosling’s take on The Lone Ranger be like? He’s a fairly versatile actor who rarely seems to turn in a bad performance – and he is quite talented at making the characters he plays feel all the more authentic, be it a drug-addled teacher (Half Nelson) or an almost child-like husband (Blue Valentine).

One character archetype that Gosling has handled well in the past is that of the kind but undeniable oddball (see: Lars and the Real Girl) whose mental well-being is not at all a given. Considering Verbinski’s plans to create an incarnation of The Lone Ranger who is more Don Quixote than anything else, it seems that Gosling could fit that (eccentric) mold perfectly.

Lars and the Real Girl movie image Ryan Gosling Could Become The Lone Ranger [Updated]

‘The Real Girl’ and Lars (Gosling).

Verbinski has attempted to mix post-modern philosophical musings with popcorn movie elements in his previous films, but the results have been disjointed and messy, up to now. Lone Ranger sounds like it too will attempt to balance comedy and action bits with more overt thought-provoking material – and while that juggling act doesn’t have much to do with pre-established Lone Ranger lore, maybe Verbinski will be able to pull it off better this time around.

UPDATE: Ryan Gosling’s rep has informed EW that the actor will not be headlining Lone Ranger after all.

How does Lone Ranger sound to you so far?

Source: The Wrap

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  1. I wish Gore Verbinski would just do a good old-fashioned western. We need more of those and I don’t think The Lone Ranger would work any other way.

    • How about they actually do some appropriate, racially specific casting? Just as they wouldn’t get a Native American to play the Lone Ranger, why cast a white actor to play a Native American? There are Native American actors out there whom would readily take such a job.

      Johnny Depp may have some Native American ancestry, but he’s about as Native American as Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is Chinese.

      • But Depp will sell tickets. And he does have Native American in him. There’s a movie called “The Brave” that Depp co-wrote, directed, and starred in. He played a Native American and it worked there.

        • Well it seemed to work okay when Mickey Rooney played Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I mean, he wasn’t Asian, but it wasn’t in any way racially inappropriate or offensive…

          Okay, it was *WAY* racially appropriate and offensive… But I guess as long as they’re only doing it to sell more tickets then it’s okay. The profit motive cures all ills.

      • I agree as great of an actor as Johnny depp is…its almost impossible to see him as the lone rangers native american sidekick. You need someone younger then the lead character if hes a sidekick. Taylor Lautner would be a decent pick i think.

  2. Ryan Gosling could never become The Lone Ranger.

    • why not?

  3. Why not?
    Gosling becoming The Lone Ranger isnt prohibited by law or anything.

  4. Ryan Gosling does not possess
    nor could he act to project any of
    the qualities needed for the Lone Ranger.

    Not that it matters for this film.
    Verbinski is clueless as to who the
    Lone Ranger is and what he stood for.

    • Well… Somebody is knowledgable…

  5. great actor but not Lone Ranger for God’s sake!

  6. Im sure he can pull it off just fine. I didnt care for him much when I first saw him in Notebook but he’s sorta grown on me over time because he’s turned in some diverse performances.

  7. Well, despite the “abs to make girls (and some guys) swoon”, I just don’t see him as a Lone Ranger type.

    Likewise, I just don’t see Johnny “I’m totally insane when I create a new character” Depp as Tonto.

    Unless they’re doing “The Stoned Ranger and his Indian friend Toronto”.

  8. The problem with all of this is that Gosling doesnt have the personality to overcome Depp on screen. The Lone Ranger was the driving force behind the series and the central character who called all the shots. havig Tonto upstage, and its what Depp does best is not going to go over well. It will turn a leading character into a secondary and that is not what the movie and the legend is suppose to be about.