Disney Set Date for “The Lone Ranger”

Just a few months ago, it looked as though we might not be seeing director Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger until 2014, but Disney is moving ahead with the high-profile revival of the serialized western hero and his sidekick Tonto, played respectively by Armie Hammerand Johnny Depp.  According to Deadline, the House of Mickey has just set the film for release on December 21, 2012.


The Lone Ranger is a reunion between Depp and Verbinski, who previously made hay with the first three films in the Pirates of the Caribbean  franchise.  Though Verbinski did not to return for this summer’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, he did work with Depp on the animated western Rango.  Also on board from the Pirates franchise is uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer.  The screenplay is written by Justin Haythe, who previously contributed to The Clearing, and adaptedRevolutionary Road.

Since their first appearance on a serialized radio adventure in 1933 and continuing through media including television, film, and pulp novels, the Commanche Tonto has been the reliable sidekick of the heroic Texas Ranger, but this new version will give Johnny Depp‘s Tonto a more central role, rather than simply supporting Armie Hammer.  Verbinski and Depp have both previously commented that the film will have a new spin on the established dynamic, with Verbinski asserting that it is thematically inspired by “Don Quixote.”

The December 21, 2012 date is just one week after the December 14th debut of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first half of director Peter Jackson‘s adaptation of the Lord of the Rings prequel.  The Lone Ranger‘s release is currently shared by Phillip Noyce‘s submarine thriller Hunter-Killer and Life of PiAng Lee‘s take on the novel by Yann Martel.

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