Interest in Jerry Bruckheimer's resurrection of 1950s' icon The Lone Ranger has largely focused on whether Johnny Depp will don the headdress of Tonto. Depp's availability is still not certain but production took a step forward today with Deadline's confirmation that Gore Verbinski is set to direct the film for Disney.
Verbinski's association with Bruckheimer and Depp is long-established. He directed the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy for Bruckheimer. More recently, Verbinski has written, directed and produced Rango, an animated feature with Johnny Depp voicing the leading character, a Wild West chameleon who adopts a hero's colours to overcome bandits. Rango is set for release next March.
The projected release for The Lone Ranger is in 2012 although no date has been set for the beginning of filming. It is unlikely that Johnny Depp will be able to undertake all of the projects that he has been linked to for release in that year, but the confirmation of Verbinski's position in the director's chair may increase the odds for his stepping up as Tonto.