There will always be those who try to lay claim to the western being a tired and obsolete genre, this notion is of course misguided. From John Ford’s seminal Stagecoach, to the expansive (not forgetting expensive) vision of Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate (1980), to the recent successes of the Coen brother’s True Grit and Tarantino’s revisionist Django Unchained, there have and will likely always be more than enough examples in each decade that justify the ongoing artistry and demand of such a tried and tested genre.
Continuing to fly the flag for the western is the forthcoming 5th collaboration between Johnny Depp and Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski, as they reform the serial 1940s-50s cult TV show The Lone Ranger. Armie Hammer (Mirror, Mirror) plays John Reid, the titular character, but of course he’s not completely alone on his myth-making journey as he’s guided by Native American Tonto (Depp).
A western it may be, though also expect a swashbuckling adventure, a buddy movie full of striking visuals, and a vibrant array of supporting players all bringing this iconic and endearing pair to the big screen here in the UK on August 9th.
For all the talent involved in The Lone Ranger it’s no doubt that Johnny Depp will be the name surrounding the film’s continuing release. From Edward Scissorhands to John Dillinger he’s one of the most loved and eclectic screen presences in all of cinema and a true movie star.
Here are five things you may not know about the man:
5. Whilst engaged to actress Winona Ryder he had ‘Winona Forever’ tattooed on the top of his right arm. When the couple split he had the tattoo shortened to ‘Wino Forever’. Captain Jack likes a drink, after all.
4. Depp has played author Hunter S. Thompson’s persona in the films Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and more recently in The Rum Diary (2011). The two were very close and Depp oversaw his friend’s dying wish; for Thompson’s remains to be fired from a 150 foot long canon.
3. Despite being two years older than co-star Charlie Sheen, Depp wasn’t considered for the lead role of Platoon (1986) because he was deemed too young.
2. After being arrested for ransacking a New York hotel room in 1994, Depp explained to the authorities that an armadillo was responsible for the damage. He claimed he had found the animal in the closet where it became violent and forced him to jump out the window.
1. After the filming of Sleepy Hollow (1999) Depp adopted the one-eyed horse his character Ichabod Crane rides throughout the film, thus saving him from being put down.
See Depp saddle up again at Showcase Cinemas when The Lone Ranger is released on August 9th.
– Joseph McDonagh
This post is written by Joseph McDonagh who regularly writes for Showcase Cinemas and his own blog http://joemcdonaghfilm.blogspot.co.uk/