Sneak Peek: The New Lone Ranger and Tonto, Garry Armstrong

Marilyn and I both love westerns and she has a “thing” about the Lone Ranger. But I have a queasy feeling about Johnny Depp and his revisionist view of Tonto in garish get-up and the Ranger in a less fashionable outfit.

Are we going to get some bizarre twist on their relationship?? What are the camp fire scenes going to look like? Better warn the Rangers, Pilgrim!!

A new look for Lone and Tonto. Is it just a bit too new?

From USA Today:
Johnny Depp is the trusty sidekick Tonto; Armie Hammer portrays the Lone Ranger.

Depp and Hammer enrolled in Old West boot camp before filming. Forget about his secondary roles in the novels, the radio program and the TV series. In the upcoming film The Lone Ranger, Tonto walks side-by-side with the famous masked lawman.

“This is all about two guys who are on the same path, but who have come from two very different worlds,” says Armie Hammer, who plays the title character in the action-adventure flick due out July 3, 2013.

Putting Tonto on equal footing is helped by the fact that he is played by Johnny Depp, who reunites with his Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer for the film, which just wrapped its lengthy shoot.

“The challenge was to turn the story on its head and reinvent it,” says Verbinski, pointing out that his story is even narrated by Tonto. “Everyone has heard about the Lone Ranger, but not from the only other who was there — Tonto.”

Depp’s Comanche shaman character is a daunting vision complete with eerie full torso makeup and a stuffed crow headpiece.

“This is not the look you want to wake up to in the middle of the night and see hovering above you,” admits Depp, who helped create the appearance.

He and Hammer both enrolled in Old West boot camp before filming — Hammer learned to dismount at full gallop and Depp perfected bareback riding. “Johnny really embraced the Comanche culture, says Verbinski.

There were almost nasty consequences as Depp had one spill where his horse miraculously avoided hitting his head with its hooves.

“There was potential for real badness,” says Depp. “But we got through it.”

The tale re-frames the hero’s journey from law-abiding John Reid to the man who is forced to don the Lone Ranger mask and work outside the law. It includes the silver bullets and, naturally, the famous “Hi-Yo Silver” cry.

“Right before the horse threw its legs up in that scene, the thought went through my head, ‘I’m really about to yell this right now,’ ” says Hammer, who will unveil the film’s first trailer on today’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

“As the horse landed, the whole crew roared. Johnny told me, ‘That was blankety-blank awesome.’ ”

Author: Garry Armstrong

As a reporter for Channel 7 in Boston for 31 years, I was witness to most of the major events affecting the region. I met a lot of people ... politicians, actors, moguls, criminals and many regular folks caught up in extraordinary situations. Sometimes, I write about the people I've met and places I've been. Sometimes, I write about life, my family, my dogs and me. Or what might otherwise be called Life.

12 thoughts on “Sneak Peek: The New Lone Ranger and Tonto, Garry Armstrong”

    1. I REALLY love the Lone Ranger, I had Lone Ranger wallpaper on my walls until I was 11. I don’t want a revision of the story. Speaking of revision: what happened? They couldn’t find a real native Americans available tp play Tonto? Jay Silverheels was Native …. and 60 years later we can’t do at least as well? Sad.

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    1. Hollywood just loves remakes. BAD remakes, As for writers not having original ideas, we have plenty of original ideas. Hollywood doesn’t want “original.” They want whatever it was that made money the last time. Writers don’t make movies any more than workers run the factory.

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    1. I’m not so much concerned with that. I mean, that is assuming they will still have Silver and Scout … If they change that, I’m going to start a national boycott! I doubt they’ll change much about the fundamental relationships, but the actual characters may be distorted out of all recognition. Remember Alice in Wonderland? And people LIKED it. I’m totally baffled by the idea of them having Tonto riding around in full war paint all the time. That’s so dumb, like having all the actors on Law and Order working their cases in tuxedos and evening gowns … oh, wait, that’s pretty close to what they are already doing, isn’t it. Surely they knew/know better … and if they didn’t, did they consider just asking someone who does know? Probably, they just don’t care. Why confuse the issue with reality when you can do it all with makeup.

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  1. So.., other than Tonto being way overdressed and the “Loney” himself needing a shave I don’t see a problem. It’s real Hollywood… er Hollywood Boulevard that is, and rough trade to boot. Is this destined for general release.., or just in the Gay theaters downtown? Maybe it was mis titled and should be “Pirates of the Carribean III”…? I dunno, Johnny seems to like eye shadow and elaborate makeup.., d’ya think he’s trying to tell us something? So, maybe I’m just partial to Clayton Moore (real man) and Jay Silverheels (real Native American) and don’t think the LR needs to be re-made…,in any form. Let’s look at it another way, and purely from a business standpoint;

    When the LR, because of his lifelong committment to that mask, sent Tonto into town, to hang out at the local barber shop, to gather information on the latest bad guys, his general demeaner suggested he might actually need/want a haircut, remember that famour line from almost all episodes “you’re next injun”…, well with Johnny Depp’s version.., not so much. Anyway what self respecting barber would even attempt getting into that mess on Depp’s head? If only electric shears were invented back then…, buzzzzz hair, feathers, beads and all gone in an instant. “So you wanna be a white man eh?…Buzzzzzzzzz, take that injun!” “Oh! Mr. Depp? so sorry you’re already a white man…, My Bad”.

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    1. I guess we’ll have to wait and see! My actual Native friends find it alternatingly ironic, infuriating, hilarious, and incredible that suddenly it’s trendy to claim Native ancestry. They need a new word for how they feel about it.

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  2. Is Johnny Depp next doing a remake of “Ben Hur” with a revisionist take on the relationship between Ben and Messala? How about Johnny as “Hopalong Cassidy”? Now, cut that out!!!

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    1. Hell, why not? Johnny would surely discover that he is also Jewish or maybe Roman, depending on which role he takes. A man for all seasons, all reasons. Or not.

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