<i>Pirates Of The Caribbean</i> Director Saddles Up For <i>The Lone Ranger</i>

Nearly two months after a report surfaced that Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski was "getting serious" about The Lone Ranger, Disney has signed him to the big-screen adaptation.

The movie will be a veritable Pirates of the Caribbean reunion, with Jerry Bruckheimer producing and Johnny Depp attached to play Tonto. The studio has yet to cast the title role.

Based on the long-running radio serial turned television series about a masked Texas Ranger who fights injustice with his Native American companion, the current Lone Ranger movie languished for five years in development hell until 2007, when Bruckheimer set up the project at Disney.

Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio penned the initial script, which has since been rewritten by Justin Haythe (The Clearing, Revolutionary Road). The original screenplay was described by Bruckeimer as having a supernatural element, similar to the Pirates franchise. However, it's unknown whether Haythe's rewrite retains that aspect.

No matter how The Lone Ranger shapes up, it'lll be better than the property's previous two Hollywood outings: the disastrous 1981 feature film The Legend of the Lone Ranger, and the unsuccessful 2003 backdoor pilot starring Chad Michael Murray.

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