I don’t at all see the appeal of a movie based on The Lone Ranger. I really didn’t see the appeal in the television show. My tiny recollection of the show is that the really big deal about it was that no one knew the identity of The Lone Ranger, despite the fact that the mask was, you know, not exactly a full body disguise. Yet, the only way that Tonto — the Native American stereotype (“How!”) — could recognize him was the silver ring. Cause, you know — without that silver ring, who the fuck is that guy underneath that incredibly intricate mask? And that’s The Lone Ranger’s powers? He can shoot well. Wow. How thrilling.
Anyway, Jerry Bruckheimer has been pushing a movie version of The Lone Ranger for years, but it’s never really gained much traction, despite the fact that Johnny Depp is attached as Tonto (and, apparently, at one point, George Clooney was rumored to play The Lone Ranger, which is about as likely as me being mistaken for George Clooney (what? I am dashing).
It had been a quite couple of years, blissfully so, but now it appears that the goddamn project is moving ahead, as Justin Haythe, who adapted Revolutionary Road for the big screen, is negotiating to come aboard to script. Haythe had also penned a script for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which was deep-sixed a few months ago.
The thing about “The Lone Ranger” was that it was something of a kid’s show (now, I’m sure there was some more complexity to the radio program — no. I’m not so sure). And you know what? Kids expect more now than a dude with a gun and a tiny mask with a Native American sidekick, who would probably look like the Native American version of Jack Sparrow. Hell, it’s not just kids — I expect more from a super hero, or whatever it is that The Lone Ranger considers himself. If this thing is going to work, I think they’re going to have to develop a bigger back story, some decent mythology, and — you know — put some flame decals on the side of the horse or something. Otherwise, it’s just a dude in a thong mask hollering out “Hi-Yo Silver” like a goddamn Village Person while his sidekick sends up smoke signals and chants.
(Fun Fact: There was once a WB television film of “The Lone Ranger,” starring Chad Michael Murray. And you know what? The Lone Ranger is about Chad Michael Murray’s speed. Anyone see that?)