Tonto as Sancho Panza? Gore Verbinski gives an update on LONE RANGER

Now that Gore Verbinski has saddled up to direct the new Lone Ranger for Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer, he plans to show us the tale through Tonto’s eyes. Seems like a good idea, since this Tonto will be played by Johnny Depp. Expect “a sly, somewhat subversive version of the classic Old West adventure that presents the ‘faithful Indian companion’ as the wry central voice of the story,” advises Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times, who interviewed Verbinski during the recent press junket for Rango.

“The only version of The Lone Ranger I’m interested in doing is Don Quixote told from Sancho Panza’s point of view,” Verbinski told Boucher. “And hence I was honest early on with Johnny that Tonto is the part. We’re not going to do it [straight], everyone knows that story. I don’t want to tell that story.” What does Verbinski have in mind? Boucher suggests Tonto will be a character like Captain Jack Sparrow — someone “good in a fight but also a bit slippery compared to some of the boy-scout personalities around him.” Verbinski explained, “I want the version from the untrustworthy narrator who might be a little crazy — but somehow the question is, is he crazy or is the world crazy? That, I find fascinating.”

Boucher notes that “in Verbinski’s office, one high shelf behind his desk has a solitary book on it — a hardcover history of the Texas Rangers.” The director is doing his research. “It’s just at the primordial stage,” Verbinski said. “We’re working on the screenplay but if we can pull that off — find that story I want to tell — then it will be worth doing.”

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the Verbinski interview; you can read more about Lone Ranger on the Zone’s Porch General Discussion forum. You can find the Los Angeles Times article HERE. The photo of Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp was taken at the world premiere for their most recent film, Rango, in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day; to see a larger version, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Aida for sharing the photo.