Action Figure Universe

The Lone Ranger

Action Feature
Artists in Action
Collectors' Corner
Legendary Heroes
Musical Icons
Science Fiction
The Big Bang Theory
The Marketplace
The Supernatural
Toy Cars
Toy Soldiers
Western Stars
Will's Guide to the Universe


The Lone Ranger

Not So Fast, Johnny!

10/14/2012, by Will Hoover

Wow.  Gee.  Happiness.  Well, sort of.  Jerry Bruckheimer and company just released a brand new vid for next summer's eagerly awaited Lone Ranger film.  Looks... interesting.  Sort of.  What's with all the explosions though?  It's a Western, guys!  It's a period piece, for crying out loud!

One of the few advance scenes from the film that doesn't seem to feature excessive explosions

But... the flick is being directed by Gore Verbinski, the wonderful wizard of filmmaking that helmed the first three Pirates of the Caribbean big budget extravaganzas, right?  So next summer's all new romp with the Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian companion Tonto should be pie in the sky perfection, right?  Maybe.

More importantly, is Johnny Depp really gonna be wearing that damn bird on his head throughout the ENTIRE movie? Hmmm.... Please, people! Everybody loves Johnny Depp though, of course. But did you see this past summer's sorry excuse for Dark Shadows? An entertaining film though. Sort of.

Johnny Depp's bird brained Tonto

More importantly, just how long can Johnny get away with mangling classic characters like this?  You know, carving them up like Sweeney Todd, that infamous barber/butcher guy.  One shudders at the mere thought, but maybe, just maybe, Johnny is still possessed by the slasher character that he channeled in Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in 2007.  If so, maybe he needs to finally get out of character.  Maybe an exorcism is even in order!

Now Burton is someone we expect such things from.  After all, he's been getting away with virtual cinematic murder consistently for quite a number of films in a straight row now.  So much so, that we've actually begun to expect it from the man.  Sort of.

Johnny the central character and... Armie the prop?

At any rate, this new Lone Ranger trailer really doesn't leave me at all hopeful.  Concerned, is a helluva lot more like it, actually.  Lord, oh lord, I sincerely hope that the film (due to be released in US theaters, July 3, 2013) isn't going to be another expensive train wreck, the likes of the way the Wild, Wild West TV series was defiled and desecrated back in 1999.

I grew up watching the original with Robert Conrad and Ross Martin and... sorry, but Will Smith and Kevin Kline, James West and Artemus Gordon, do NOT make!  What an awful film that was.  Crikey!  IMDb has it listed at 4.5 out of 10 stars and Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer smacked the lackluster lump of coal with a well deserved 21% approval rating.  Though naturally, audience reception was a bit higher (though not much), at 39%.

Is this film really on the right track?

I'm not normally a praying man, but this first trailer for Bruckheimer's revamped Lone Ranger really has me not only sweating silver bullets, but prophesying a doom soaked end of epic proportions for yet another attempted revival of the classic Western franchise.

Worst of all, it doesn't look like Armie Hammer is going to be doing much in the film but standing in like the usual pretty boy cinematic department store manikin.  Or... dare I say, a cigar store Indian?  Hell no!  I wouldn't dare make the comparison.  Though... I guess I already have....

Whatever the case may be, this new trailer calls to mind recent disaster flicks (that were actually intended to be "remakes").  Movies that did not take their subject matter seriously enough and, well... pretty much just ransacked and way layed them with disrespectful attempts at something barely resembling faux comedy.  Think of recent bombs such as Land of the Lost and The Green Hornet.  And yes, once again, Dark Shadows.  It's a crime, folks, a true crime, to do such unspeakable things to much loved vintage properties!  I mean, where is the humanity?

Who was that masked man with that high profile Indian?

But then... we haven't seen this upcoming Lone Ranger film yet, have we?  I for one, am not holding my breath though.  Nor am I holding out for a hero.  'Cause incidentally, just where all the good men and gods have gone really is becoming an increasingly perplexing question when it comes to big budget summer movies.  Even more so than when Bonnie Tyler recorded the song back in 1984.  So, just exactly where then, is the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?

Oh, skip it!  One thing's for sure.  They just don't seem to do classic TV shows justice anymore.  Not that they ever did, but... doesn't it seem like things are getting even worse of late?  At any rate, hope this upcoming version of The Lone Ranger doesn't just end up leaving us all in yet another stinking cloud of toxic retro dust.  And one last request, if I may.  Johnny, please be good!  PLEASE, Johnny!  Behave yourself, young man!

See also:  This is a particularly noteworthy link, given that Johnny Depp explains just exactly why Tonto is going to be wearing a bird on his head in the upcoming film.

The Lone Ranger Rides Again... and Again

Johnny Depp & Armie Hammer of Jerry Bruckheimer's The Lone Ranger

03/12/2012 by Will Hoover

If the Lone Ranger and Tonto aren't 1:1 scale action figures of American frontier legend, I don't know who possibly could be.  Like a lot of kids, I grew up watching reruns of The Lone Ranger TV series starring Clayton Moore (and John Hart among other brief replacements for Moore) and Jay Silverheels.  Those thrilling days of yesteryear not only gave us eight remarkable seasons of TV programming, but also a highly acclaimed radio show that preceded the live action version, numerous books, comics and a series of vintage action figures based on the TV series from now defunct toy producer, Gabriel.

What fantastic mythic stuff The Lone Ranger has given the world over the years.  Riding out to right all sorts of Western frontier wrongs, "the masked rider of the plains and his faithful Indian companion Tonto" are two characters that really deserve to be, not necessarily updated, but given a fresh new start.  Given the long history of the Lone Ranger legend, it surely is only a matter of time until someone mounts a successful revival of the franchise.

Not that it hasn't been tried before.  In 1981, a big budget attempt entitled The Legend of the Lone Ranger turned out to be a huge stinker for fans of the older series when the film's producers filed an injunction to stop the then 65 year old Clayton Moore from wearing the trademark mask for public appearances in the runup to the release of the movie in theaters.  In the end however, and also perhaps due to a variety of other shortcomings the production is now infamous for, the film tanked at the box office.  "So much for free enterprise."

Promotional art for the Legend of the Lone Ranger from 1981

The WB network tried again in 2003 with the two hour telefilm The Lone Ranger, but that project didn't go especially far either. Not that Chad Michael Murray as the masked rider and Nathaniel Arcand as Tonto weren't effective in their respective parts, but perhaps it will take a guy with the outstanding track record of Jerry Bruckheimer to truly resurrect this timeless classic.  And... Johnny Depp too, of course.

When I first heard that Depp would be playing Tonto, I was somewhat dubious, but despite the fact that he appears to be wearing a bird on his head as part of his costume in the first teaser pic publicly released by Bruckheimer and company, you gotta admit that he looks pretty convincing as the legendary Native American sidekick.  I'm not sure if Armie Hammer looks all that great in the publicity still, but I have absolutely no doubt that he'll be able to carry the picture.  And let's face it.  If he doesn't, Johnny Depp surely will.  And I personally can't wait till the film is released in May of 2013.

Don't miss: The Lone Ranger Fanclub,, Clayton Moore: The Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore Memorial, Largent's Lone Ranger Page

The Lone Ranger (2013) photos: Peter Mountain © 2012 the Walt Disney Company & Jerry Bruckheimer, Inc.

Back to the Previous Page
Back to the Top
Forward to the Next Page

Western Stars
Will's Guide to Legendary Heroes

There's no place like home!