Wednesday, October 3, 2012
"The Lone Ranger" Trailer Has Galloped Into Town and Unfortunately I Couldn't Care Less About It
Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) and man of the law John Reid (Armie Hammer) are opposites brought together by fate and must join forces to battle greed and corruption.
I get that people are up in arms about the fact that actor Johnny Depp might be "stealing a role" from a "real" Indian actor who's already been deprived of high profile (or any profile) roles in Hollywood. I really do. And, while this may not be ample reason for folks to quit yapping about that, it should be mentioned (perhaps again) that Depp is in fact part Cherokee (from his maternal grandfather's side), and he's playing Tonto, one of the most iconic Native American figures that western civilization recognizes.
But why not cast an actual Indian actor (and there are plenty). Not to justify Hollywood's narrow-mindedness by any means, but it more than likely came down the dollar. Someone like, say, Kal Penn would have probably been fantastic in the role but 1) Would Disney "gamble" on a star like Penn when there's the bankable--and more "mainstream" Depp willing to jump in the saddle? and 2) Would Penn even want to play a character like this that, while iconic, may put him in a box as an actor? I would be interested to see The Lone Ranger get the proper big screen treatment, but I'm just not sure this is going to be it. Who knows what could have been, but I must admit that seeing Johnny Depp in "Indian-face" is quite jarring for a an actor who's wildly known as a white American, strictly playing playing American roles....
That said, even without the controversy, the clip is so aggressively mediocre. Who's the target audience? What's the point of bringing this story back? Eh, if you're going to dig this one up, Hollywood, at least do it right.
Hammer (The Social Network, J. Edgar) looks neatly cast as the title character which may help distract from Depp's Halloween makeup here. And it's worth noting that the great Tom Wilkinson and Barry Pepper are also featured here, along with Depp's partner in crime, Helena Bonham Carter.
Depp is also reuniting with his Rango and Pirates of the Caribbean director, Gore Verbinski (who also did The Mexican, which no one liked but me). Pirates writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio are also behind this re-imagining, which actually makes me that less excited about it.
Anyway, without further ado, check out the first trailer and leave your comments below. The Lone Ranger hits theaters July 3rd, just in time for America's Independence Day. Yeah.