First Look: Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer are Tonto and the Lone Ranger

Tonto and The Lone Ranger Ride Again!

With that Tweet, posted this morning, uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer introduced fans to the latest incarnation of the iconic Western characters.

That's Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer (J. Edgar, The Social Network) who have saddled up for The Lone Ranger, which will be directed by Depp’s Rango and Pirates of the Caribbean collaborator Gore Verbinski. Bruckheimer has been tweeting from the set of Disney’s anticipated Ranger reboot, promising "something big" and an image "that will show you why this isn't going to be your grandfather's Lone Ranger and Tonto."

Does it? I’m not entirely sure I agree. Depp and Hammer’s costumes appear traditional and authentic – which, if I’m being honest, is a very good thing. When it comes to a cherished franchise like The Lone Ranger, which has been around in some format since 1933, continuity is key. A drastic reimagining of the character could create distance between the feature and its built-in fan base.

So far, it looks like Verbinski and his crew are embracing the roots of the classic law enforcer, while also cutting Depp a little slack to make Tonto a white-faced weirdo. (That is a bird resting on his head, after all.)

Months ago, the thought of a Lone Ranger promotional image seemed impossible, as Disney and Bruckheimer appeared at odds over the budget of a Ranger movie and the pictured stalled in pre-production. Eventually, though, cooler heads prevailed and the Lone Ranger was allowed to move forward as planned. Verbinski’s Western has been penned by Pirates scribes Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. It co-stars Helena Bonham-Carter, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson and Barry Pepper. As of right now, it’s due in theaters on May 31, 2013.

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