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Pirates of the Caribbean Writers Hired for Bruckheimer's Lone Ranger Next

by
March 28, 2008
Source: Hollywood Reporter

The Lone Ranger

Jerry Bruckheimer's reboot of The Lone Ranger may have just received its golden ticket - screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. We've covered this project before, back in May of last year, but since then its been all quiet on the western front. Confirmed officially today is that Elliott and Rossio are in final negotiations to write the script for the live-action big-screen adaptation of the classic 1930s radio show. Besides writing Shrek, The Mark of Zorro, and Godzilla (two of which were also reboots) together, Elliott and Rossio were the duo that brought us all three of the Pirates of the Caribbean adventures. But are they capable of repeating that success?

The Lone Ranger is essentially a very risky and troubled project. In a day and age where westerns continue to flop no matter how good they are, a fantastical world that features a masked hero, silver bullets, and "Hi-yo Silver, away!" isn't likely to succeed. But one could've said the same about pirates and octopus-headed villains back before the first Pirates of the Caribbean plundered the box office in 2001. However, The Lone Ranger seems a bit worse off. The character's most recent shot at the big screen, 1981's The Legend of the Lone Ranger, failed so badly that the film's star, Klinton Spilsbury, never worked in Hollywood again. In 2003, WB aired a TV movie that served as a backdoor pilot, but it also bit the dust.

The hero's origin story begins with a group of Texas Rangers chasing down a gang of outlaws led by Butch Cavendish. The gang ambushes the Rangers, seemingly killing them all. One survivor is found, however, by an American Indian named Tonto, who nurses him back to health. The Ranger, donning a mask and riding a white stallion named Silver, teams up with Tonto to bring the unscrupulous gang and others of that ilk to justice.

Although I am confident that Jerry Bruckheimer and his team could bring back The Lone Ranger successfully, I'm not fully convinced that it's going to be anything that I'll enjoy yet. It just seems so ridiculously cheesy to start and I fear Elliott and Rossio might only make it worse. Their interpretation will have to be modernized immensely to work well. I'll await any further judgment until there is more information on where the script is heading and what kind of movie we'll be seeing.

What do you think - does The Lone Ranger have a chance of making a come back with Elliott and Rossio at the reigns?

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  • This is a terrible idea I must say. "Lone Ranger" is barely heard of by any of the target audience, presumingly the PG-13 crowd. By the unsuccessful predecessors, can't they revive another Western like Dirty Harry? Here are the plot keywords on IMDB for "The Legend of the Lone Ranger": Box Office Flop / Critically Bashed. Then the guy who played Lone Ranger: Klinton Spilsbury never got a role again! But hey, in the 2003 TV one Chad Michael Murrary was the Ranger and turned out ok. I like a good Western but the series was never THAT successful or terrific.
  • I used to love watching The Lone Ranger when I was a kid and have been collecting episodes on DVD as they are released. But I truly do not believe Elliott and Rossio, judging by my reactions to their past efforts, will bring anything to the legend that I'd care to watch. Hopefully, they'll surprise me. Jeff Wetherington Athena Comics Guide http://comics.athenaguides.com/
  • Nick
    I know it's not that big of a dent in the Westerns genre but I thought 3:10 to Yuma was fantastic. While I can't really recall any other good westerns in the recent years I definately enjoyed Yuma. If Elliott and Rossio can do for Lone Ranger what they did for the Pirates trilogy it might turn out good.
  • JC
    The first POTC was a masterpiece, the rest were nowhere near as good. The stories just had too many gaps. While a new version of the Lone Ranger "might" be a good idea, having read a lot from all concerned about how they want to modernize the story, I'll pass.
  • John
    I would love for this idea to be made into a better television show ... with others out there that are somewhat successful in certain "alternate televison" channels (refuse to call it ca_ _ _ since I have DirecTV and love it over the money hungry people at Comcast and Ca_ _ _vision) like USA, SciFi or even on Showtime or HBO. As for movie, I agree, in a day and age of CGI movies, a western hero like this might not make it, but I always loved the idea of the Lone Ranger (being a big Dark Knight fan) and what he was trying to do so I will wait with cautious anticipation for this possible film.
  • Spider
    Not bad! I'd like to see this "Lone Ranger" flick! The last couple of westerns I've seen like Kevin Costner's "Open Range" and "3:10 to Yuma" have been pretty good! "The Lone Ranger" has some great potential in that it's cross generational, internationally known, and best of all, with Jerry Bruckheimer's deep pockets, great A-List talent can be assembled to make this flick! In this day and age, it's hard enough to follow a show every week and the competing cable channels and regular TV channels are quick to jump on the copycat bandwagon. I believe that "The Lone Ranger" can succeed as a flick. I seriously doubt a series like this can make it past it's first season---likely to join NBC's "Bionic Woman"!
  • Curtis
    it would be pretty awesome to see The Lone Ranger on the big screen revamped i think Nathan Fillion would be a perfect fit as the lone ranger.
  • nha
    My brothers and I actually really enjoyed the legend film - and as youngsters watched it a lot! I think the soundtrack is amazing and the whole masked man and his friend and horse concept is great = I'll be there. Hi, Ho Silver - Away!
  • Jaybear
    I just felt like adding something silly to this one.. I'm feelin' like Tonto, Ridin' a Pinto, Tryin' to chase the Lone Ranger down. I'm a little unravelled, But I'm still in the saddle, Cryin' your name out to the clouds, Hey yaw, Hey yaw! Why don't you meet me, Back at the tepee? We'll lay down by the camp fire. There, in the dark night, We'll smoke the peace pipe, Forget about who's wrong or right. Hey yaw, Hey yaw! (Lyrics Courtesy of Big and Rich) I think we need something like this. I mean come on no one thought a movie about pirates (A disney ride no less) was going to really make a buck. (Especially after Haunted Mansion flopped that november.) No one thought dead's mans chest was going to be able to compete that July with the other blockbuster. Yet people liked it. Infact people LOVED the damn movies so much I can't turn around anywhere without seeing something pirates anymore. (Hey I won't deny I went to see the last one four times, though I was 8 months pregnant so I had nothing better to do.) I think its time we have a fun adventurous more updated cowboy movie for the whole family to watch. That can transcend generations like pirates did. There isn't anything really like that. All the more recent cowboy movies have been to serious and not hitting the teen demographic. Everyone in recent western film have been trying to hard to get oscars (While trying not to be a gay cowboy, lol) Anyhow, that's all I have to say. Like it or not.
  • Megan
    I and I believe many others in the Native community have had enough 'Westerns'. At least Tonto is a 'good guy' in this Western, and is spared being painted as a savage worthy of death. However the idea of Johnny Depp playing Tonto is angering. Yet another step towards perpetuating ideas that Native's are prehistoric relics. There are many talented Native actors out there today who could fulfill this roll. There are very few 'mainstream' movies dealing with Native American issues, and most of those that do exist feature non-natives as the lead characters (think Last of the Mohican's, Dances with Wolves, Broken Arrow, etc). It's enough that Tonto, though being a positive character depiction of Native's, is still, of course, relegated to sidekick. It's just plain insensitive to propose a Non-native actor play that role. I only hope the writers will be cognizant of modern Natives, and their contentuous relationship with Westerns as they forge ahead with this project. Already they have shown a lack of sensitivity.

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