June 29, 2009

Depp to brainstorm Tonto

Johnny Depp Gets Lewd For ‘Lone Ranger’ Role as Tonto

By Larry Carroll“Well, at one point, I will work on my Tonto,” Depp added, expanding his answer. “I think I have some pretty decent ideas.”

Produced by “Pirates of the Caribbean” hitmaker Jerry Bruckheimer, “The Lone Ranger” isn’t due in theaters until 2012, so it would seem that Johnny has plenty of time to figure out how to give us a unique take on Tonto that isn’t just the old-fashioned stereotype of a Native American. The first draft of the film is currently being penned by “Pirates” writers Ted Elliott and Terry Russio.

“I’m just waiting to get the right script, you know?” Depp said of when he’ll really start brainstorming ideas.

Although it might seem odd to some that Depp is scheduled to play the Lone Ranger’s sidekick, I can’t help but think back to one of my favorite movies in Johnny Depp’s career: the Jim Jarmusch not-Western, “Dead Man.” In it, Depp is brilliant as William Blake–-a man who becomes immersed in the world of Native Americans, effectively becoming one. So I couldn’t help but ask: will his Tonto have anything in common with his William Blake?

“No,” he said of his “Lone Ranger” role. “This is pretty different; pretty different.”
Comment:  The last time Bruckheimer and his writers portrayed Native people, they gave us the gibbering cannibals in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Is there any reason to think they'll do better this time? Or will their Tonto be a generic Indian at best, a stereotypical caricature at worst?

For more on the subject, see The Lone Ranger.

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