Friday, March 28, 2008

Pirates of the Caribbean Writers Hired for Bruckheimer's Lone Ranger Next

The Lone Ranger

Jerry Bruckheimer's reboot of The Lone Ranger may have just received its golden ticket - screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. We've covered this project before, back in May of last year, but since then its been all quiet on the western front. Confirmed officially today is that Elliott and Rossio are in final negotiations to write the script for the live-action big-screen adaptation of the classic 1930s radio show. Besides writing Shrek, The Mark of Zorro, and Godzilla (two of which were also reboots) together, Elliott and Rossio were the duo that brought us all three of the Pirates of the Caribbean adventures. But are they capable of repeating that success?

The Lone Ranger is essentially a very risky and troubled project. In a day and age where westerns continue to flop no matter how good they are, a fantastical world that features a masked hero, silver bullets, and "Hi-yo Silver, away!" isn't likely to succeed. But one could've said the same about pirates and octopus-headed villains back before the first Pirates of the Caribbean plundered the box office in 2001. However, The Lone Ranger seems a bit worse off. The character's most recent shot at the big screen, 1981's The Legend of the Lone Ranger, failed so badly that the film's star, Klinton Spilsbury, never worked in Hollywood again. In 2003, WB aired a TV movie that served as a backdoor pilot, but it also bit the dust.

The hero's origin story begins with a group of Texas Rangers chasing down a gang of outlaws led by Butch Cavendish. The gang ambushes the Rangers, seemingly killing them all. One survivor is found, however, by an American Indian named Tonto, who nurses him back to health. The Ranger, donning a mask and riding a white stallion named Silver, teams up with Tonto to bring the unscrupulous gang and others of that ilk to justice.

Although I am confident that Jerry Bruckheimer and his team could bring back The Lone Ranger successfully, I'm not fully convinced that it's going to be anything that I'll enjoy yet. It just seems so ridiculously cheesy to start and I fear Elliott and Rossio might only make it worse. Their interpretation will have to be modernized immensely to work well. I'll await any further judgment until there is more information on where the script is heading and what kind of movie we'll be seeing.

What do you think - does The Lone Ranger have a chance of making a come back with Elliott and Rossio at the reigns?

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