The Lone Ranger producer Jerry Bruckheimer was non-commital about the prospect of a sequel, when he said it'll be "up to the audience" during a recent interview. Rest assured, though, Disney wants the film - which reunites Johnny Depp with the screenwriters and director on the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies - to be a massive success (possibly, leading to a new franchise for the Mouse House), and has kicked marketing up a notch, ahead of its theatrical bow in under three weeks.
Disney released the above featurette, which shows off the historically-accurate trains and Old Western buildings that were constructed for the blockbuster (hence, the $215-250 million price tag). It also gives a look at the dangerous stunts performed by Depp and his costar Armie Hammer, be it galloping on horseback at a treacherous speed - causing Deep to take a nasty tumble - or standing atop a platform that overlooks a massive canyon. (Credit where credit's due, the cast and crew went all out with this western.)
To learn about the Lone Ranger cast's preparation, watch the "Cowboy Bootcamp" featurette below:
If this movie is at least half as much fun to watch as it seems to have been for Hammer and his fellow cast members to make, then Lone Ranger could prove to be worth all the previously-reported problems during early development. We can personally attest to the rocky journey the filmmakers undertook, in order to put together this contemporary re-imagining of an iconic character's origin story (one who has been around in some form since the early 20th century).
That includes that extended production delay (in order to reduce the budget), principal photography taking significantly longer than scheduled, the public outcry against Depp playing the American Indian Tonto, loss of major elements from the earlier script draft, and the sheer amount of cash that Disney has poured into making sure this film coalesces into something marketable.
Will this Johnny Depp blockbuster be as entertaining (or more so) than the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie? Watch the most recent Lone Ranger TV spots and see what you think:
Lastly, we have several new high-definition images from The Lone Ranger, with Hammer and Depp in addition to the supporting cast members Ruth Wilson (Luther), Helena Bonham Carter (Les Misérables), Barry Pepper (Snitch) and William Fitchner as the villainous Butch Cavendish.
Carter is playing a character who seems to fall somewhat on the quirky side (big surprise, we know), whereas Hammer and his costars are keeping things more straight-faced, similar to Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in the Pirates trilogy. Meanwhile, Depp as Tonto surprisingly appears to fall somewhere in the middle, with a respectful yet unorthodox of the "Native American spirit warrior." (Make of that what you will.)
You can peruse through these photos at your leisure, in the gallery below:
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The Lone Ranger opens in U.S. theaters on July 3rd, 2013.