Johnny Depp: I will make Tonto interesting
Johnny Depp says his portrayal of the Lone Ranger sidekick Tonto will 'salute Native Americans' as Disney film gets the green light again.
Johnny Depp says he has "interesting plans for the character Tonto" as production for the new Lone Ranger film swung back into action this week.
Disney cancelled the film in August amid concerns that budgets had spiralled out of control. But the film has had the green light after its prospected costs were reduced from £174 million to £136 million.
Depp's Pirates Of The Caribbean collaborator Gore Verbinski will direct, with Armie Hammer playing the Lone Ranger. Production will begin in New Mexico next year and the film released in 2013.
Depp, will be appearing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art today to promote his new film The Rum Diary, said: "I like the character of Tonto. I think I have interesting plans for the character, and I think the film itself could be entertaining and very funny. But also I like the idea of having the opportunity to make fun of the idea of the Indian as a sidekick — which has always been [the case] throughout the history of Hollywood, the Native American has always been a second-class, third-class, fourth-class citizen, and I don't see Tonto that way at all. So it's an opportunity for me to salute Native Americans," he told MTV News.
In Los Angeles today, Depp and Bruce Robinson, who directed The Rum Diary based on the novel by Depp's friend Hunter S. Thompson, will sit down to discuss The Rum Diary with the Film Independent at LACMA curator and former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell.
Meanwhile, Depp has also been linked with a new project for television, as the producer of a period drama that he’s developing for Lifetime cable network about Billy Wilkerson - the founder of the trade paper The Hollywood Reporter.