Johnny Depp has been cast in the upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer produced adaptation of the classic old-time radio and early television show The Lone Ranger created by George W. Trendle. The series followed a masked Texas Ranger in the Old West who rights injustices with the aid of his native American assistant, Tonto. He gallops along on his white horse Silver. The character’s signature quote is “Hi-yo, Silver, away!” Depp will play Tonto. Pirates of the Caribbean writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio have been writing the script. No start or release dates have been announced.
Depp must have signed a multi-picture deal with the studio, because it was also announced that the actor would play The Madd Hatter in Tim Burton’s 3D part live-action, part computer animated adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Principal photography is set to begin in November, with a March 5th 2010 release date previously announced. Concept art from the film was shown, showing the classic Alice in Wonderland scenes done in Tim Burton style, complete with curved and slanted corners. Everything is really stylized. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb have huge heads, and are shaped like upward missiles. None of the characters look like a dramatic departure from the traditional designs.
At the conclusion of the presentation, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Richard W. “Dick” Cook announced “How about another pirates movie!?” signaling that Depp was now signed for Pirates of the Caribbean 4.
Now, I can see him as the Mad Hatter, no problem. It's another Tim Burton collaboration and I trust that Tim Burton will do quite well with Johnny as the Mad Hatter.
As for Pirates 4? I think that they closed off the third film nicely and I don't see why they would need a 4th Pirates film, unless they were doing a spin-off dealing mainly with Jack Sparrow, not with Will and Elizabeth.
And The Lone Ranger? Is now the right time to bring back classic radio dramas as films? And as Tonto? I don't really know about that. Tonto was portrayed as an American Indian. I guess that Depp could do the role justice, seeing as he was one of three actors who took over for Heath Ledger in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and that he can do pretty darn good accents (Sparrow, Todd, Crane). We'll just have to wait and see.