Johnny Depp as Tonto in the Lone Ranger


Predicted to be one of the biggest summer movie this season is the upcoming  Walt Disney’s “Lone Ranger.”  Johnny Depp as,  no he’s not playing the Lone Ranger, nor Silver for that matter, but as Tonto, the American Indian partner of Lone Ranger.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer will bring wonders to his “Midas touch” again as tens of thousands of moviegoers will flock the theatres on the Fourth of July.  Bruckheimer has proven himself as one of the tinseltown’s moneymaker.  To name a few of his top movies, “Top Gun”,  “The Pirates of the Caribbean”, “Armageddeon”, “Con Air” and so on and so forth. Goodness, this guy can the movie he produces into gold!

On the other hand, equally competitive on the team is  Director Gore Verbinski who has a reputable track record in the industry.  Among his hits are “The Pirates of the Caribbean”, “The Ring” and the Academy Award winning,” Rango.”  According to Verbinski, “ This is the hardest movie I’ve ever made.”

Playing the Lone Ranger is the impossibly handsome Armie Hammer who was  known for his portrayal of the Winklevoss twins in the 2010  film, “The Social Network”.  Though his equally handsome face would seldom be shown in the screen since he is always “masked”, no doubt that this “Hi- Ho- Silver -Away” masked guy will be one of the most sought actors after this movie.  I bet.  Rumor mills has it that he is being eyed to portray as the billionaire Christian Grey of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Going back, Johnny Depp has proven himself as one of the great character actors of all time.  He has portrayed several and difficult characters from  Tim Burton’s several movies to a sword-fighting pirate.   He is no stranger to action scenes in fact in one of the location shoot of “ The Lone Ranger”, he was suddenly thrown off by the horse he is riding.  The horse’s feet quickly run over him.  Fortunately, the injury is not that serious.  Depp’s horseriding scenes are one of the many enjoyable sequences of the movie.  Several of them were shot with real explosions and real trains. The shoot had a feeling of reality.  “Audiences are more sophisticated now, they can tell if it’s computer generated, they can tell if you are faking it, .” explained the Producer Jerry Bruckheimer.  That is why, location shoots are rarely done in the studio but wereshot in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Texas.


Lone Ranger is a fictional character, a masked ex-Texas Ranger, who with his Indian companion, Tonto, fights injustice in the American Old West.  Played on TV series by Clayton Moore, Lone Ranger with his white stallion, Silver, would shout, “Hi-Ho-silver Away” as they galloped off unidentified by townfolks whom he have done laudable deeds and whom he has defended for injustices.  This character is considered as iconic in the American Culture.


It is expected, though, that the movie will be patterned after the old tv series, wherein good deeds and good moral values will be delivered to the audience.  So, what’s in it for us?  Often times, Lone Ranger, after doing his duty of fighting the injustices and have defended the oppressed, he would just walk away without having to be recognized.  That’s the time when  townfolks asked, “Who is that masked man?”.  As CNN contributor, Bob Greene, wrote, “ The unspoken lesson is – let your deeds stand for themselves.  Don’t blow your own horn, don’t seek credit or applause.  If you do something well, there’s no need to tell people about it, or hang around waiting for cheers, Do good and then get out.”

I believe this is the very essence of the movie.  Humility.

As the movie is about to unfold it’s curtain on the Fourth of July, the following questions will be.  Is it going to be a Lone Ranger movie?  Or Tonto’s movie? But at any rate, let’s all cheer for Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer.  And now,  off to the theatres we go!

See you at the movies.

Written for The Guardian Express:  Anthony P. Derayunan


One Response to "Johnny Depp as Tonto in the Lone Ranger"

  1. Jane   June 20, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Why is a non-Indian playing tonto? Did lowly wood not get the memo?

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