UPDATE: Disney has just released the first poster for the film, and have revealed that the first trailer for the film will hit Apple at 7am PST on October 3.
Like many, we struggled with the idea of bringing The Lone Ranger back into circulation. Could the masked lawman who was missing in action for decades become relevant once more? Gore Verbinski's updating of the iconic gunslinger and his Native American partner will ride into theaters on July 3 next year, and USA Today has a preview of the expansive action-adventure. We've featured several images of Armie Hammer as the Old West hero and Johnny Depp as a reimagined Tonto, below.
Depp's character is being described as a spirit warrior — he's also narrating the tale — and will not be viewed as the ex-Texas Ranger's underling as the original story often pitted the figure. "The challenge was to turn the story on its head and reinvent it. Everyone has heard about the Lone Ranger, but not from the only other who was there — Tonto," Verbinski said. For some time, we've been hearing about how Depp embraced the Comanche culture to really get into his role and was even made an honorary member of the tribe for his portrayal. It was a positive spin on what had been months of backlash for casting a non-Native in the part and speculation on how the role would epitomize Native culture — something Hollywood has historically screwed up royally (it should be noted that Depp has reportedly surmised that he is part Native American). The director described Depp's character as an "odd-shaman, an outcast from his own tribe who has created his own mystical world." That amazing headpiece that Depp is wearing? It's a stuffed crow that Tonto considers his "companion." Apparently, he even feeds it bird food, which is bordering on Pirates of the Caribbean levels of quirky. We kind of expected that.
Both Depp and Hammer underwent extensive training for the western, learning how to dismount at full gallop and ride bareback. Verbinski wanted to make "a big Western the old-fashioned way," so realism was crucial to the story's success. The filmmaker described the rebooted tale as a "dysfunctional buddy movie," with "two guys who start literally and figuratively handcuffed together who end up on the same mission with completely different world views. They sort of rub off on one another. But they have plenty of disagreements."
We'll see how Jon Reid transforms from a man of the law into a legend of rebellious justice next year. The film just wrapped up shooting in the California mountains, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. Do these images give you hope for a bigger and better Lone Ranger and Tonto? See more photos at USA Today.