Johnny Depp Plays 'Tonto' in 'The Lone Ranger'

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  • Johnny Depp with a feather in his hair
    Jerry Bruckheimer/Twitter
    Johnny Depp plays "Tonto" in a 2013 adaptation of "The Lone Ranger" the famous 1950s TV series.
By Daniel Distant, Christian Post Reporter
March 9, 2012|10:04 am

Johnny Depp was seen playing the Native American "Tonto" in Jerry Bruckheimer's adaptation of "The Lone Ranger" via a Twitter picture the producer posted Thursday.

Johnny Depp appears in a wildly over-the-top Native American-style oufit, complete with accessories, tribal face paint, feathers, and of course, a dead crow perched atop his head.

Bruckheimer's caption: "Tonto and the Lone Ranger Ride Again!"

Bruckheimer's tweet certainly accomplished it's goal- to stir up anticipation for the long-awaited "Lone Ranger" movie, currently in production, and set to be released in May of 2013.

The famous Lone Ranger will be portrayed by Armie Hammer, who was perhaps best known for playing both Winklevoss twins in "The Social Network." Helena Bonham Carter and Tom Wilkinson are also set to appear in the film.

Depp, who is known to bring flair to roles like this, was a childhood fan of "The Lone Ranger," and revealed he has Native American heritage last year.

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"My great-grandmother was quite a bit of Native American," Depp was quoted by The Daily Telegraph. "She grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek."

Still, some critics feel choosing Depp to play the role of "Tonto" is disrespectful to Native Americans, as an actual Native American actor could have been more authentic.

"How do we feel about this 'Lone Ranger' remake?" wrote Donna D., a BuzzFeed staff writer. "On the one hand, Johnny Depp. On the other hand, aren't there actual Native American actors?"

Her editor chimed in, writing, "Johnny Depp having a Cherokee maternal grandfather is not the same thing as hiring an actual Native American actor."

Depp, though, plans to bring a new spin to Tonto that original fans of the 1950s show may not be used to seeing.

"I remember watching it as a kid, with Jay Silverheels and Clayton Moore, and going: 'Why is the f------ Lone Ranger telling Tonto what to do?'" Depp told Entertainment Weekly last year. "I liked Tonto, even at that tender age, and knew Tonto was getting the unpleasant end of the stick here. … I started thinking about Tonto and what could be done in my own small way to … reinvent the relationship."

The film is currently shooting in Mexico under the direction of Gore Verbinski. They only began filming last month, so production is most likely in its infancy.

 

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