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Depp as Tonto, Disney gets their man over and over again

Posted Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 5:41 PM Central

by John Couture

When I got to work this morning, I knew something big was afoot. All the women were swooning and had that look of ravenous hunger in their eyes. I knew that look wasn't reserved for me, so I fired up my web browser and quickly figured out what had set all the hearts of the lady-folk in my building aflutter.

It didn't take long to find the answer.

Disney announced that Johnny Depp had been tapped to play Tonto in the live-action movie The Lone Ranger. The origin story focuses on Tonto's rescue of The Lone Ranger and their beginnings as riders of vigilante justice in the Wild West.

Johnny Depp without his shirt on. Yep, that was the reason for all the buzz around the water-cooler this morning. But, Disney wasn't done.

They also announced that Depp would officially be back as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 4. The early in development movie is said to focus primarily on Captain Jack as he goes off on his next big adventure.

And if that weren't enough Johnny Depp news for one day, Disney also confirmed that the actor would be portraying the Mad Hatter for his buddy Tim Burton in his rendition of Alice in Wonderland. The director will not only bring his trademark dark visual style to the film, but he plans to combine performance-capture imagery (think Beowulf) and live action.

Wow, all this news from Disney concerning arguably their most coveted leading man makes me all misty-eyed for the Golden Age of Hollywood when actors were under contract with individual studios. I'm sure that all of these Johnny Depp/Disney deals aren't a precursor for the past to repeat itself, but it is an interesting reflection of a simpler time.

Who do you think should play The Lone Ranger? Also, what do you think of Disney's strategy to lock up one of the mose talented actors working today? Let us know.

In the meantime, enjoy these shots of Depp in action.