By Eric D. Snider
DISNEY EXEC. #3: That never works.
DISNEY EXEC. #1: Not that we’ve ever tried it.
DISNEY EXEC. #3: Well, it doesn’t take a genius to see that when people go to a movie about a fictional character they’ve loved since childhood, the LAST thing they want is for the character to be portrayed the way they remember him.
DISNEY EXEC. #1: Johnny Depp as Tonto??
DISNEY EXEC. #2: That makes even less sense!
DISNEY EXEC. #3: We love it more!
DISNEY EXEC. #1: That’s $300 million domestic right there. People love Johnny Depp!
DISNEY EXEC. #2: Audiences are in no way tired of his quirky oddball performances!
DISNEY EXEC. #3: A disheartening sense of sameness definitely has not crept into those performances!
JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: Now, Johnny has a few stipulations…
DISNEY EXEC. #2: The movie has to be bloated, overlong, unnecessarily complicated, yet somehow also simple-minded?
JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: For starters. He also feels strongly that the Tonto character should be a dignified representative of Native Americans, and he wants to convey this by wearing a dead bird on his head.
For more on Johnny Depp, see Critics Agree: Lone Ranger Is Bad and New Tonto as Racist as Old Tonto.