No sooner had chairman Dick Cook announced that the Disney studios would be making a new film of The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp appearing as the Native American Tonto, than rumors cropped up all over the Internet claiming that George Clooney would soon don the black mask and shout “Hi ho, Silver, away!” Not so fast, Kemosabe–the Internet buzz got so loud that Clooney’s press representative contacted CelebTV.com to issue an official denial of the story. “Reports that George Clooney will star alongside Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger are not true,” Clooney’s rep said. Ooops . . . .
The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the news from CelebTV. For those who aren’t very familiar with the Lone Ranger saga, it began as a radio series in 1933, and Professor Gary Hoppenstand, editor of the Journal of Popular Culture, considers the Lone Ranger a quintessential American icon. As an avenger who helped the downtrodden and never accepted any payment for bringing justice, the Lone Ranger was “a hero made for radio audiences of the Great Depression,” Hoppenstand said on a recent broadcast of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. The Lone Ranger might have operated outside the law, but he worked on behalf of law-abiding citizens when their local officials could not, or would not, help them. “In the 1930s, the perception was that there was a failure of capitalism,” Hoppenstand explains. “There was a failure of government to protect the American people from . . . what was, up to that point, was one of the worst financial experiences of American history.” A champion of the powerless who could right the errors of inept or corrupt civic leaders? Sounds like The Lone Ranger is a man whose time has come . . . again.
Many thanks to Fran-is-a-fan for sharing Robert Siegel’s excellent National Public Radio piece on the Lone Ranger. You can find it HERE, on the NPR website. There are lively discussions of The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum, and also on the Porch. –Part-Time Poet