“A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo, Silver! The Lone Ranger Rides Again!
Yes, that famous masked man is back in Disney’s $215 million dollar film adaptation of The Lone Ranger. The on again, off again, on again production that stars Johnny Depp, not as the infamous ex-Texas ranger but as his trusted partner, Tonto started filming in February.
The Lone Ranger first appeared on a radio show in 1933. The show was an immediate hit and ran until 1949, when a live-action TV series was developed (which ran until 1957). For many, actor Clayton Moore WAS the Ranger and Jay Silverheels WAS Tonto and that’s that! So there are many die-hard fans that will have to be convinced that Depp and actor Armie Hammer (as the Ranger) can fill the shoes of the originals. From the one’s I’ve spoken with, the new actors have a tough road ahead of them.
For those of you too young to even know who the Lone Ranger is, I’ll recap his origin. The Ranger is John Francis Reid, one of 6 Texas Rangers who are ambushed by bandits and left for dead. Reid manages to survive the attack and is nursed back to health by an Indian (or Native American if you prefer), named Tonto (Reid saved Tonto’s life a few years back). Tonto and Reid become blood brothers and Reid vows to bring the gang of killers to justice. Forging a mask from his dead brother’s vest (his brother was one of the 6 rangers), Reid becomes The Lone Ranger. After the gang is captured, Reid and Tonto decide to continue their fight against evil— living by the following creed:
1) that to have a friend, a man must be one.
2) that all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
3) that God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
4) in being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
5) that a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
6) that ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ shall live always.
7) that men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
8) that sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
9) that all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever. in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.[
Incidentally, for you Green Hornet fans, Brit Reid is the great grandson of The Lone Ranger.
Over the years the Ranger has appeared in various comic books and in his own animated TV series in the mid-1970’s. In 1981, the movie Legend of the Lone Ranger hit theaters but fans stayed away, angry that the studio would not include Clayton Moore in the film— fans wanted Moore to play the original Ranger, too old to continue, who passes the torch (or rather the silver bullets) to a younger successor.
The new movie is set to hit theaters on May 31st, 2013 and stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson and Barry Pepper.