Gore Verbinski Roped Into Lone Ranger

He's agreed to direct it

Looks like the fruit baskets, boxes of chocolates and piles of cash left on his doorstep have gotten through to director Gore Verbinski. You might remember that in September, he was considering reuniting with regular Pirates of the Caribbean cohort Johnny Depp on Disney’s new film version of The Lone Ranger. Today Deadline brings word that he’s locked in a deal to direct the film.

Depp has been attached to play Ranger sidekick Tonto for aaaaaaages now, and Disney has been on the hunt for a director to tackle the challenge of getting the thing made.

This latest announcement, however, brings us no closer to a possible start date for the movie. For one thing, the film still needs an actor for the titular hero (unless Disney throws money at the idea we just thought up: Depp could suit-up in a CG leotard so he can play both main characters! Hello, billion dollar box-office!), and it’ll have to wait until both Depp and Verbinski’s schedules are clear enough. Depp has Dark Shadows on his docket and plenty of other offers he is due to wade through before he considers slipping on Tonto’s costume. Verbinski has been working on Rango and is developing a new take on 1947 comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

So for now, there’s no news on when the film will be arriving in cinemas. But there’s an easy way to check. If you ask at your local fleapit, “Who was that masked man?” and someone tells you it’s the Lone Ranger, the movie's out. If they reply, “some weirdo who likes to lick the food,” maybe you should stay away from the popcorn.