The folks at Walt Disney held a big shindig out in Hollywood yesterday, where they announced several new projects, three of which might be good news to you fans of Johnny Depp. Maybe.
First off, Depp has been cast in producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s upcoming big screen adaptation of the classic radio and television hero, The Lone Ranger. Depp won’t be playing the titular masked man, however. The part-Cherokee actor will be playing the Lone Ranger’s sidekick Tonto. Ted Elliot and terry Rossio, who scripted the three Pirates Of The Caribbean films which launched Depp’s career into the stratosphere, are currently working on the script.
While Bruckheier is getting things ready for The Lone Ranger, Depp will be working with Tim Burton on the director’s upcoming part live-action/part computer animated adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice In Wonderland. In this film iteration of Alice, Depp will be playing the Mad Hatter opposite newcomer Mia Wasikowski’s Alice.
At the end of the presentation, Disney studio chairman Richard Cook asked the assembled, “How about another pirate movie?” It seems that Depp is also signed with Disney to do Pirates Of The Caribbean 4, presumably with Elliot and Rossio cranking out the script after they finish Lone Ranger.
While it is no surprise that Depp would be teaming with long time collaborator Burton again, the interesting news is his playing Tonto. What kind of take will the script have on the character and what will Depp do with it? I can guarantee that it will be far more nuanced than the painfully stereotypical pidgeon-English dialogue television Tonto Jay Silverheels had to endure.
The film I could do without, though, is a fourth installment in the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise. Come to think of it, I can do without the second and third installments as well. Sure, this will buy everyone involved a new home or two, but beyond that, is it really necessary? Are there any stories about Captain Jack we’re all dying to have told to us?
And what if Terry Gilliam is finally able to remount The Men Who Killed Don Quixote? Will Depp’s involvement with this trio of pictures for Disney further push off a return to him working with Gilliam? I hope not.