It’s been years in the making, but it’s finally official - Gore Verbinski will direct The Lone Ranger for Disney, with Johnny Depp playing Tonto. This has been in the works forever; I think I was still in New York the first time I heard about this. George Clooney was once talked about for the Lone Ranger, while the last time I heard anything on this project I was told that Vince Vaughn (!) was the guy they really wanted.
I doubt Vaughn gets to sit in Silver’s saddle now, but that’s an interesting thing. The Vaughn casting came to me from a very reliable, very inside source, and what it tells us is that maybe the Lone Ranger isn’t going to be quite the hero of the piece (something that the casting of Depp as Tonto already hints at). In fact, this looks like it could be a variation on The Green Hornet, where the sidekick is the highly capable one.
Or maybe that isn’t the take anymore. Like I said, I heard that years ago. Remember that when Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood started life, Robin Hood and The Sheriff of Nottingham were the same guy. That movie underwent some drastic changes in development, and I expect no less from The Lone Ranger.
This really cements Verbinski and Depp as a pair; not only did they make three Pirates of the Caribbean films together, they have the animated movie Rango yet to come.