Depp to give Lone Ranger's Tonto the Jack Sparrow treatment

Jerry Bruckheimer is developing a new movie based on The Lone Ranger, the popular western hero from radio plays and movie serials, and Johnny Depp is attached to play the Native American sidekick, Tonto.

Bruckheimer said to expect Depp to do for Tonto what he did with Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.

"[Pirates writers Ted] Elliot and [Terry] Rossio worked on that also with some other writers and with Johnny [Depp]," Bruckheimer said in a group interview last week in Santa Monica, Calif. "So they're creating something that has a kind of true-to-the-western [feel], but adding other additional elements like we did with Pirates so it won't be just a straight-ahead western."

Depp's choice to play the Native American sidekick fits the actor's quirky tastes. Bruckheimer has his work cut out for him finding a lead who can make a good Ranger to a superstar Tonto.

"We're still creating a pretty wide net and figuring it out," Bruckheimer said. "It comes down to who is available when we want to make it. We have a wish list."

The Lone Ranger is in development for a tentative 2012 release date.

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