Gore Verbinski’s new LONE RANGER film is “built around Tonto”

In a recent interview with MTV News, director Gore Verbinski spoke about his resurrected version of The Lone Ranger, now due to begin shooting in New Mexico in February. With the budget squabble with Disney safely behind him, Verbinski expressed pleasure about Lone Ranger‘s new release date of May 31, 2013. “I feel great. [. . . T]he whole thing is pushed into a more reasonable time of year, so now we have to go make the movie. There’s been a lot of talk. Hopefully in a year and a half, we’ll have something we can talk about.”

MTV reports that Verbinski has been “hard at work on the screenplay for two years” and that the central character, this time around, is not the Ranger. “It’s all built around Tonto,” the director declared. “You’ve heard the Lone Ranger’s story; you just haven’t heard it told from this guy, and he was there.”

Verbinski’s description of the script dovetails with comments Johnny has made about playing Tonto. “I like the character,” Johnny told MTV during a previous interview. “I think I have interesting plans for the character, and I think the film itself could be very entertaining and very funny. But also I like the idea of having the opportunity to make fun of the idea of the Indian as the sidekick — which has always been [the case] throughout the history of Hollywood.”

Johnny would like to rewrite that bit of Hollywood history, and take the portrayal of Tonto in a new direction. “The Native American has always been a second-class, third-class, fourth-class, fifth-class citizen, and I don’t see Tonto that way at all,” Johnny said. “So it’s an opportunity for me to salute Native Americans.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the MTV interview; you can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum.