Johnny Depp has found his Lone Ranger. Armie Hammer, the 24-year-old actor who portrayed the Winklevoss twins in last year’s The Social Network, will play the masked hero in Disney’s adaptation of The Lone Ranger, according to Hammer’s rep. Depp, who has said that he’s part Cherokee or Creek Indian, had already been cast as the title character’s Native American companion Tonto. Gore Verbinski, who directed Depp in Rango and the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, will helm the film. Jerry Bruckheimer is producing the project, which Disney could release as early as next year.
Unlike in the iconic 1950s TV show, Depp’s Tonto will be more than the Lone Ranger’s mere sidekick. “I remember watching [the show] as a kid and going: ‘Why is the f—ing Lone Ranger telling Tonto what to do?’” Depp previously told EW. “I knew Tonto was getting the unpleasant end of the stick here. When the idea came up [for the movie], I started thinking about Tonto and what could be done in my own small way try to reinvent the relationship, to attempt to take some of the ugliness thrown on the Native Americans – not only in The Lone Ranger, but the way Indians were treated throughout history of cinema – and turn it on its head.”
Hammer will next be seen in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar as Clyde Tolson, the FBI official who some infer was romantically involved with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio). The biopic is scheduled for a December release.
(Additional reporting by Anthony Breznican)