Johnny Depp to 'reinvent' Tonto role in new movie

Jun 26 2011 - 2:22pm

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Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Johnny Depp In “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” Depp will star as Tonto in an upcoming remake of “The Lone Ranger.”
Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Johnny Depp In “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” Depp will star as Tonto in an upcoming remake of “The Lone Ranger.”

Q: Any idea whether or not the upcoming "The Lone Ranger" is meant to be a comedy of sorts? Because it must be a joke having Johnny Depp play an Indian. As a huge fan of the TV show I am insulted by that casting, and think that Jay Silverheels is rolling in his grave.

A: Actually, this may not be a bad thing for the movie, planned for late 2012. Tonto, to be played by Depp, is the big role; Armie Hammer of "The Social Network" is signed as the Ranger. And Tonto may be the smarter half of the duo -- much the way the recent "Green Hornet" movie made Kato the brains of the partnership.

Depp, whose family claimed to be part Native American, told Entertainment Weekly in May that as a child he watched the old TV series, with Silverheels as Tonto and Clayton Moore as the Ranger.

"I liked Tonto, even at that tender age, and knew Tonto was getting the unpleasant end of the stick here," Depp told EW. "When the idea came up (for the movie), I started thinking about Tonto and what could be done in my own small way to 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."

Q: What happened to Juju Chang? Why is she no longer on "Good Morning America"? I didn't watch for awhile, and she was suddenly gone.

A: She has become a special correspondent and fill-in anchor for ABC's "Nightline." Josh Elliott has succeeded her as news reader for "GMA."

Q: Do you know what happened to the TV series on HBO, "Curb Your Enthusiasm?"

A: It will begin a new season on July 10, with Larry going to New York.

Q: On the TV show "Charmed," Piper falls in love with the ghost of a young Asian man murdered on his birthday. The soundtrack had a woman singing the words "peace, peace, peace, may you go in peace." What is the name of the song, who sings it and is it available on CD?

A: The song is called "Hush, Hush, Hush" by Paula Cole. It is from her CD "This Fire," as well as her "Greatest Hits: Songs From East Oceanside." Cole, by the way, is also known for "I Don't Want to Wait," the theme song from "Dawson's Creek," and for "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?"

The "Charmed" episode is called "Dead Man Dating," and it's from the show's first season. John Cho -- of the "Harold and Kumar" movies and the 2009 "Star Trek" movie -- played the dead man.

Q: Is "Warehouse 13" returning soon?

A: The Syfy adventure series begins a run of new episodes with a very good one on July 11.

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