Johnny Depp in the second ‘Lone Ranger’ trailer: improved or still sketchy?

Johnny Depp

The full-length theatrical trailer for Disney and Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger has hit the airwaves, and it’s an action-packed doozy that strongly represents the crash-boom ideals of producer Jerry Bruckheimer. This honestly looks like quite the entertaining, popcorn-crunching movie, and I’m sure it will make at least a few million in excess of the the $215 million budget, right? Sure it will.

I agree with Kaiser that the film’s teaser trailer came off as a Disney-ified parody as far as Tonto and the Native American experience are concerned. I say that as a (nearly) lifelong resident of Oklahoma, where I have been exposed to a fair amount of Native American culture. However, it’s also worth mentioning that I don’t have a drop of tribal blood within me, and several tribes have indeed supported Depp’s portrayal of Tonto. Even though Johnny has a bit of (assumed) Cherokee blood, both the Comanche and Navajo nations have given Johnny their blessing. Of course, I don’t think that this film has actually screened for anyone as of yet, so (and I’ll probably get called out for this) perhaps a lot of this “approval” is actually starstruck flattery because it’s kind of a big deal when an A-list movie star like Johnny Depp signs on for Tonto. Does that sound too cynical? Well, that’s Hollywood. Here’s the trailer (which provides a little more backstory and a lot more action), and we’ll discuss below.

There come a time when good man must wear mask.” Is this a case of “chopped grammar signifies ‘injun’” or merely a case of not racism but cultural insensitivity? I still am slightly suspicious that Depp has only recently gone out of his way to make nice with the Comanche tribe by appearing as their parade grand marshal when, previously, he never really did anything to embrace his Native American heritage.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Movie stills and poster courtesy of Collider

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30 Responses to “Johnny Depp in the second ‘Lone Ranger’ trailer: improved or still sketchy?”

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  1. Lishka says:

    Ack, I find this so highly offensive! Him playing Tonto is like a white man doing blackface, it just doesn’t…aaaarrgh. I mean, its like Jack Sparrow playing Tonto! Has anyone seen “The Brotherhood of the Wolf”? Now look at that movie for someone doing a believable portrayal of a similar character…miles better than this…charade!

  2. Kaye says:

    I would probably pay to watch Armie Hammer just read from the phone book, so I’ll probably go see this.

  3. Amelia says:

    Hmm. The combo of Verbinski, Bruckheimer and Zimmer makes me hopeful.
    However I have to say that I’m woefully ignorant about Native American culture so I haven’t a clue what would or would not be counted as offensive.
    Jury’s out on this one.

    • Erinn says:

      I never know, either Amelia, and I grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada where we actually had mandatory courses on native heritage and things of that nature from grade primary until about 10th grade.

      I feel like it probably is somewhat subjective on an offensive level whether or not it should be subjective. But this is coming from a white girl with very very minimal traceable native heritage if any at all. Half of my family came directly from Scotland and Ireland only a couple generations back (great grandparents), so my knowledge on the subject is quite limited.

  4. Mich says:

    This does seem a little like Johnny Depp playing Jack Sparrow playing Tonto. And what was with the Jolly Roger shot mid-clip??

    Am a little surprised that they stuck with the broken English patois of the 1950s TV series. Surely, at some point, someone must have raised a red flag? Particularly after the uproar when the first stills came out.

    Cultural sensitivity aside, looks like a fun movie.

  5. Samantha says:

    The train wreck at the end of the trailer pretty much sums up the whole thing.

  6. Zigggy says:

    I don’t get the appeal of Johnny Depp. Never have.

  7. Oi says:

    I get that they maybe wanted some star power for the movie, but it would be so much better to me to have say Graham Green or Lou Diamond Philips any real Native American play Tonto. Guess they just couldn’t give up star power (such as it is for Johnny Depp. I think his star is fading a bit) for authenticity. It would have come with the added bonus that its a lot less likely the offended the NA people. Might even bring a little more awareness of what actual Native Americans think about stereotypes and Hollywood’s portrayal of their culture. I’d be much more interested in seeing if they’d gone with authenticity.

  8. kala says:

    Johnny did “The Brave” and “Dead Man” long before than “Lone Ranger” and he has been a known supporter of native’s causes (that was one of the strongest bonds between him and Marlon Brando) also his “indian chief” was his first tattoo, and talked several times since “21 jumpstreet” about his native heritage so how can you say “when, previously, he never really did anything to embrace his Native American heritage.”?

    You DON’T KNOW WHAT HE DID!! that’s different!

  9. BeesKnees says:

    Not all Native Americans are down with this, believe me. Check out the blog Native Appropriations, she is pretty peeved about the whole Johnny Depp as Tonto thing.

  10. Miral says:

    The trailer looks fun
    But Silver will be the real “star” of the movie :)

  11. Interesting read says:

    Look at this post on IMDB about his heritage (with the scans and links)

    “I’m part Cherokee–that’s why I’ve got the head of an Indian chief tattooed on my arm.”
    - Johnny Depp, 1987

    “My heritage is American Indian. Cherokee. I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can. It’s an amazing heritage, and amazing culture, what they had going. I think they’re far more advanced than we are.”
    - Johnny Depp, 1988

    “…When I was at high school, other kids started to give me a hard time and calling me a dirty indian…”
    - Johnny Depp, 1998

    An extra one:

    I adore that. And with half Indian and half Irish. What a combination! And what a temper! If it doesn’t pass, something gets broken. That can make things a little difficult. But there is nothing better…”
    - Vanessa Paradis “20 reasons to love Johnny”
    (July 2005 edition of the French PREMIERE magazine)

  12. Louise says:

    I must admit there’s something about Johnny Depp I don’t like, I hadn’t noticed it until his split with Vanessa, although I had an inkling.

    He *always* does something for the press to promote a film in advance, where everyone is expected to say how nice he is. He did it for Pirates of the Caribbean too etc Always contrived, to me not a true act of kindness.

    If he did similar kindnesses that got into the media between films and not in relation to them, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. But he doesn’t!

    This film looks for young children. Dumbed down crap.

    And it always irks me these days that Helen Bonham Carter is in everything, looks the same speaks the same, she’s got so stale for me. And why is she constantly joined at Johnny Depp’s hip? Tiresome woman, can’t stand her. Something very dodgy about her and she fails to hide it in her demeanour.

    • Elvee says:

      I totally understand what your saying!!! He’s like a used car salesman to me. Says whatever sounds good so the soccer moms (and I mean no offense) will “oohh and awww” and then does another depending on his current situation. His personality changes depending on who his closest group of friends are or his geographic location is at the time. A lot of his contradictions, both professional and personal, are starting to come to light and he’s been getting on a lot of peoples nerves as of late. It’s disappointing that he’s sold out to this extent. Seems like what used to be authentic about him had been lost.

    • Be honest says:

      So you don’t like him because he split with Vanessa. Just be honest. The man has 30 years of career and he always has acted in the same weird way.
      And saying the truth, he doesn’t go for the life informing to the press every time he donates a dollar as other celebrities does!

      • Lena says:

        Argh. Now when I see Johnny all I can think of is that “Amber” chick who looks like a recycled Playboy bunny with an attitude–especially the photos where she’s looking all haughty like she knows something we don’t. This movie is more of the same–he still hasn’t recreated himself, though it will surely be a blockbuster. And yes, he has sold out. His moves with the Native Americans, the stories about how he bought Vanessa a house, and now is buying Amber a house in Nashville, are all scripted to play to the “big puppy with teeth.” He was more intriguing when he lived in France and was with a woman who was a lot more of an artist than he was.

      • Tiger says:

        One of the more likable things about Johnny is he doesn’t donate for publicity like so many others, I agree.

  13. Alison says:

    Is it just me that feels that he Johnny is copying Nobody from Deadman quite shamelessly, in fact?

  14. JH says:

    Looks like a good movie. I’ll see it for sure. Armie Hammer looks awesome.

  15. BRE says:

    Great, now kids will want to dress up like an “Indian” for Halloween. Instead of pirates being all the rage it will be Native Americans. Ugh.

    Johnny Depp’s performance as a pirate really brought on this obsession with pirates. I don’t want to see that obsession transferred to Native Americans in a way that doesn’t portray the truth as to who they were/are and the U.S.’s role in their destruction.

  16. Cece says:

    Great costumes. Great cinematography. Great soundtrack. Sh*tty everything else.

  17. katie says:

    This is going to be a bomb! What age are they trying to target? Kids don’t care about this stuff anymore. Adults old enough to remember The Lone Ranger probably won’t go see this. And that leave those of us in the middle…

  18. ZenBitch says:

    Is “kimosabe” a real word?

    I guess we will see how JD and HBC do without uncle Timmy.