Now before we start, I am going to admit right off the bat that I have not seen Disney's western The Lone Ranger. That being said I have read the reviews and I have seen the dismal box office numbers for this "summer blockbuster". Disney spent 245 million dollars on this project which was supposed to be a big summer hit, and turn into a merchandising bonanza for Disney. Well the best laid plans, you know how the saying goes. ,
The Lone Ranger took a big drubbing from the animated Despicable Me 2 over the Fourth of July weekend. The Lone Ranger took in 29 million while Despicable Me 2 took in 82 million. The minions have another advantage in that they don't have to pay Johnny Depp's salary.
So what do we learn from this? For one thing Hollywood should hire some people with creative minds. Remaking television shows from the fifties through the eighties just ain't workin. The movies are usually a huge disappointment for the fans of the original shows. The younger viewers have no idea what the movies are based on, having never seen the television shows. So it generally turns out to be a big mess. There have been a few exceptions but not many. I for one do not like to see Hollywood movie studios messing up shows I grew up watching. Miami Vice comes to mind. And who could forget The Beverly Hillbillies, Wild Wild West, Charlie's Angels and need I go on?
Judging from the advertisements and teasers for The Lone Ranger, they should have just cast Orlando Bloom as The Lone Ranger and called it Pirates of the Range. Johnny Depp roaming around the West with a bird on his head does not a movie make. Yeah we get it, Depp can play deeply disturbing, funny, quirky characters, but that doesn't belong in The Lone Ranger. We won't even mention the fact that Tonto was played by actor Jay Silverheels, a Native American, in the original series. I think there is surely a Native American actor who could have played his part in the movie as well.
And then we get to The Lone Ranger himself. And who do the powers that be cast in the main role? None other than Armie Hammer. Now I laughed when I read this, because Hammer is about as far from a cowboy as I can imagine. This part called for a true western cowboy hero. They gave us the guy from Social Network.
So bear with me here are my suggestions for ways The Lone Ranger could have been cast. Now in my opinion these would have all made a more entertaining movie.
So first let's go with the serious straight up version of who I think should have been cast as the Lone Ranger. My choice, Timothy Olyphant, from FX's Justified. Never has a finer cowboy donned a Stetson Hat. Long tall handsome and oh so cool Mr. Olyphant. He has played two very cool, tough cowboys in Raylan Givens and Seth Bullock and I think he could don that mask without emitting a giggle from the audience. Give him a dark back story as to why he roams the West wearing a mask and make him a little morally ambiguous and we have already improved the movie 100%.
My next choice, get ready, Eric Stonestreet. Let's give The Lone Ranger a little George Hamilton, Zorro the Gay Blade, treatment. Can't you just see it. Stonestreet, totally clueless but very chic in his cowboy duds and mask. Tonto has to stick with him just to keep him alive but in the end The Lone Ranger gets all the credit and rides off in a cloud of glittery dust.
And my final suggestion for The Lone Ranger is Jennifer Lawrence. Put that mask on a woman and do a Raquel Welch, Hannie Caulder twist. She dons the mask and rides the country looking for the band of men who killed her husband and assaulted her. Tonto is her trusty sidekick who teaches her how to kill a man in various and unsavory ways. Now there is a Lone Ranger I would go see.
Well those are my suggestions for improving The Lone Ranger. Weird maybe, but more interesting than Johnny Depp with a bird on his head.
Weigh in on your suggestions for The Lone Ranger or comment on mine. Come on I can take it.
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