Gore Verbinski may have pulled out of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (unfortunately everyone else involved didn’t follow in his footsteps), but he didn’t get far away from Disney, producer Jerry Bruckheimer or Johnny Depp for that matter. Not only they already made “Rango” animation together with Depp, but now Verbinski officially signed on to direct the big screen version of 50s TV-western “The Lone Ranger” for Disney with Depp playing Tonto.
Also, Disney apparently hired Justine Haythe, who adapted “Revolutionary Road” and wrote “Jekyll” project for Keanu Reeves, to work on the screenplay. There is no word yet on when the production will kick off, and considering Depp’s already engaged to be filming Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” in the first half of 2011, as well as promoting the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” this spring, they might have to put this one on hold for awhile. But since Disney is behind this, it’s likely that “The Lone Ranger” will get going sooner rather than later.
As for who will play the Lone Ranger himself, the early rumor that it will be George Clooney is now officially dead, so we’re all free to take our guesses. But whoever Verbinski ends up casting, he’d better be careful. With a sidekick like Johnny Depp, you have to think big – the man is known to outshine just about any other actor in his way. A wrong choice, and you may have to rename the film “Tonto.”