Nick Leshi

Nick Leshi
Location
Bronx, New York, United States of America
Birthday
December 13
Bio
Writer, actor, media professional, fan of entertainment, pop culture, and speculative fiction. Contact nickleshi@aol.com for more info.

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MARCH 8, 2012 10:55PM

Rooting for the Lone Ranger Movie

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I'm glad that Hollywood is being a little more frugal and cutting back on its embarrassingly extravagant budgets, but I was still disappointed that some of my most anticipated film projects were the victims of that new penny-pinching trend as The Dark Tower and Paradise Lost hit a brick wall in their development.  Even though its production price tag has been slashed, Disney is continuing with its much hyped motion picture The Lone Ranger, directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Armie Hammer as the masked Texas lawman, Johnny Depp as his faithful sidekick Tonto, and a great supporting cast that includes Helena Bonham Carter, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, and Barry Pepper.

The first image from the movie has been released. The crow (or is it a raven?) on Depp's head looks ridiculous, but I'm still hoping for the best. I like most of the films that have starred Johnny Depp.  He manages to make each of the characters he plays uniquely his own. While some of the criticism I've heard that this first peak at Tonto makes him look a bit like Jack Sparrow from Depp's previous collaboration with Verbinski in Pirates of the Caribbean, it should be noted that some of Depp's other fictional incarnations have had a slight visual similarity and yet they've still often managed to stand on their own.

I just hope Tonto doesn't overshadow the Lone Ranger. I want to see a great movie that captures the mythic excitement of the hero who has captured audiences' imaginations since his early days on the radio, and then in movie serials and on television. His tales have endured in pulp fiction novels and comic books. Arguably, however, since the heyday of Clayton Moore, the Lone Ranger, that mysterious crimefighter from the Old West, has been trying to regain a solid foothold in pop culture.

I remember being so disappointed with the 1981 movie Legend of the Lone Ranger when I saw it. The lack of a strong story and the weak acting should serve as an example of what not to do. I hope the new adaptation does it right. The trimming down of the budget will hopefully ground the tale into something better than the original over-the-top idea of having mystical shapeshifters as a key element of the plot. I don't know if there will still be a supernatural aspect to the story, and I admit there's an interesting angle to explore there with Native American lore and the Lone Ranger's famous silver bullets, but it would be a mistake to stray too far from the classic premise of the familiar saga.

So I'm rooting for it to succeed.  Let's hope it doesn't fizzle like The Green Hornet, who (trivia alert!) was originally a relative of the Lone Ranger. We shall see if they can deliver.

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Thanks Nick. Everything I've read suggests that Depp's Tonto will be less reticent and more the mentor to a somewhat bumbling Lone Ranger. That could be interesting.
(parenthetically, I've long "fantasized" about a "big finish" Pirates of the Caribbean which would move to the present with Depp/Sparrow having dreamed most of the sequences but being a marine archeologist/treasure hunter who ends up going after "X" marks the spot and encountering real 21st century pirates/smugglers. A little bit of Indiana Jones, a little bit of Robin Banning).
Walter, I don't mind Tonto getting the focus, but then they should call the movie TONTO and not The Lone Ranger. :)
Depp surmises that his great grandmother was Creek or Cherokee, really there isn't a real Native American capable of playing Tonto? I knew Jay Silverheels and I wouldn't pay a dime to see Johnny Depp recreate the role.