“Tonto is a proud warrior,” Johnny Depp tells ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Disney’s new version of The Lone Ranger, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Gore Verbinski, is prominently featured in Entertainment Weekly‘s summer movie issue (cover date April 19). This Lone Ranger unfolds from the perspective of Native American shaman Tonto, played by Johnny Depp, rather than the more familiar focus on Texas Ranger John Reid (Armie Hammer). Johnny explained to EW’s Adam Markovitz that when watching the TV series as a kid, he “identified with the slow-talking but quick-witted Native American” and “hated the fact that Tonto was always on the sidelines.” In an email to EW, Johnny wrote, “I couldn’t help but feel he was getting shortchanged somehow. That was something I was keen to remedy. To set the record straight, if you will. Tonto is nobody’s sidekick. Tonto is a proud warrior.”

EW describes Tonto as “a character as idiosyncratic as any on Depp’s resume,” which takes in quite a bit of quirky territory. “Tonto is something of a lost soul,” Johnny told EW. “Ostracized from his tribe, most likely by his own design, out of guilt. But yeah, he’s damaged. He’s just looking to get back on track,” Johnny explained. “His own particular brand of eccentricity stems from all that. He’s searching for a resolution, in his own, warrior way.”

The Zone thanks Lou Lou 63 for sharing the Entertainment Weekly article; you can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum. A photo from EW is available HERE.

The Lone Ranger will be released in North American theaters on July 3, 2013. The UK release is scheduled for August 9, 2013.