The Lone Ranger, then. Its director: Gore Verbinski. Its stars: Johnny Depp (as Tonto) and Armie Hammer (as John Reid, the Lone Ranger). Its producer: Jerry Bruckheimer. Its composer: Jack "The White Stripes" White. Its story: an odd couple tale of Western derring-do.
Disney's big budget adaptation of the much-loved TV serial about a masked ex-Texas Ranger and his Native American companion – all together now: "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" – has a lot to live up to, taking an iconic American hero and bringing him to the 21st century, but by the looks of the images below, it seems like they're on the right railway tracks.
In the article with USA Today that accompanies the photos, Depp is keen to distance himself from that sea captain – "I'm a long way from Jack Sparrow" – and Verbinski shares a few more details on his vision for the unlikely best friendship.
"It's a dysfunctional buddy movie," explains Verbinski. "It's two guys who start literally and figuratively handcuffed together who end up on the same mission with completely different world views. They sort of rub off on one another. But they have plenty of disagreements."
But what about Tonto? And what about that amazing bird on his head? "[Tonto] is an odd-shaman, an outcast from his own tribe, who has created his own mystical world," he adds. "[The bird on his headpiece is] his companion. It's a stuffed bird that he feeds birdfeed."
This is highly eccentric, highly encouraging news. As Rango fans will testify, Verbinski, Depp and Westerns go very well together, so the chance to see what they'll all do in a live-action take on the cowboy to end all cowboys is definitely something worth placing in the "keep an eye on this one" file.
Seen a couple of interviews with Depp that suggests the bird is indeed an active and integral part of Tonto's spiritual Totem. Possibly a fully realised and animated character. Let's just hope it's not voiced by Gilbert Gottfried! More