On Friday, Disney shut down production on a Lone Ranger movie starring Johnny Depp, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Gore Verbinski, because the budget was already estimated at 250 million dollars. But before explaining how that’s possible, let’s quickly mention the Lone Ranger origin story, which is surprisingly bad ass.
Six Texas Rangers are ambushed by a band of outlaws led by Butch Cavendish. (Left for dead), a Native American named Tonto stumbles on the scene and recognizes the lone survivor, Dan Reid, as the man who had saved his life some time in the past. He nurses Reid back to health. The two men dig six graves for Reid’s comrades, among them Reid’s brother, and Reid fashions a black mask using material from his brother’s vest to conceal his identity.
After that they go get Cavendish. It’s a classic tale of justice and revenge, but according to Hollywood, if a movie doesn’t have Indian werewolves in it, how good could it really be? And so, according to Hollywood Elsewhere…
A 3.29.09 draft of (the Lone Ranger) script makes it clear it was going to be at least partly about some kind of Native American wolfbeast tearing victims apart and leaving a bloody mess.
Now that’s more like it. Every movie should have werewolves all the time, everywhere, and all the old movies should have werewolves digitally added. If you’re a movie without a werewolf, fuck you.
“It was always going to be a big Bruckheimer CG movie with traditional Bruckheimer elements with an eye toward being a tentpole, totally Pirates-style.”
“It was never going to be a semi-traditional western…it was never going to be Zorro.”
“It was going to be a Tonto show mainly. Tonto as the top dog and more dominant than the Lone Ranger. Tonto and the Indian spirits like Obi Wan Kenobi and the force. The driving engine was going to be Native American occult aspects worked in with werewolves and special effects. But flavored with doses of Native American spirituality in a serious way.”
Yes, serious, I get that. The premise is very respectful. Indians are like Luke Skywalker, and sometimes they transform into wolf beasts and tear people apart. If you asked an Indian high priest to describe his religion, he couldn’t have said it any better.