Disney obviously thought Johnny Depp could mint money in any movie he did. In reality, Captain Jack Sparrow can mint money in Pirates movies, and Depp is still a quirky character actor in anything but Pirates movies. As I've been telling people for years.
He's Peter Sellers, John Malkovich, or Steve Buscemi, not Tom Cruise, Will Smith, or Tom Hanks. If he's in a blockbuster, it's an accident. It's not something you want to bet your company on.
For more on Johnny Depp and Tonto, see Why The Lone Ranger Flopped and Ranger too Racist to Reboot.
Below: Johnny Depp and stereotypical Indians, the early years.