With the release of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie just around the corner, Johnny Depp has been doing the promotional rounds. Find out more about his in-depth involvement in the project and his thoughts on The Lone Ranger, specifically his character, Tonto.
The team behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides a press conference, which io9 sat in on. Taking things back to basics the conference began with a discussion about the script and the writing process. Director Rob Marshall revealed it was “Depp’s idea to bring the Spanish faction into the movie as a counterpoint to Ponce de Leon's original expedition to the Fountain of Youth.” Producer Jerry Bruckheimer credited Depp with the creation of Sam Claflin’s missionary character and co-star Geoffrey Rush added that if it wasn’t for Depp’s insistence his character, Barbossa, wouldn’t have returned as Jack Sparrow’s ally.
Retrurning to director Marshall, he admitted that this is by no means his usual directing gig but he found his experience with musicals (Chicago, Nine) helped him with the action/adventure genre, comparing the action sequences to musical choreography. Whether or not fans of the original Pirates trilogy will find that encouraging is hard to tell.
After four movies playing the rogue that is Captain Jack Sparrow, will Johnny Depp ever have enough of acting the pirate? He admits himself that he’s rather attached and joked that “the character now shows up at unexpected times, including earlier that morning when he was getting his kids ready for school.” He went on to say he feels the possibilities are endless and he’ll never have enough of him. Bruckheimer backed up the notion of more from Depp’s Jack by confirming they have received the first rough script for the sequel. Make sure you hang around after the credits of On Stranger Tides to get a hint as to what might happen next.
While Depp is happy to go full steam ahead with many more adventures of Captain Jack, his relationship with former Pirates director Gore Verbinski continues to go from strength to strength. Not only do they have Rango as part of their shared work but the upcoming adaptation of The Lone Ranger will soon be added to that list. Nonetheless, this might not be quite the Lone Ranger you were expecting.
Depp spoke to EW about the project, reminiscing about watching the 1949-1957 TV show: “I remember watching it as a kid, with Jay Silverheels and Clayton Moore, and going: ‘Why is the f—ing Lone Ranger telling Tonto what to do?’ … I liked Tonto, even at that tender age, and knew Tonto was getting the unpleasant end of the stick here. That’s stuck with me. And when the idea came up [for the movie], I started thinking about Tonto and what could be done in my own small way try to — ‘eliminate’ isn’t possible — but reinvent the relationship, to attempt to take some of the ugliness thrown on the Native Americans, not only in The Lone Ranger, but the way Indians were treated throughout history of cinema, and turn it on its head.”
Does that mean we’ll see a little respect for the sidekick, or perhaps equality? Depp’s desire for wanting more for the Tonto character derives from the understanding that he has Native American in his blood: “My great grandmother was quite a bit of Native American, she grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian.”
Keep checking back for more on both Pirates of the Caribbean, which is heading to UK cinemas from May 18 and US cinemas from May 20, and The Lone Ranger which is scheduled for release sometime in 2014.