He Left Was This Silver Bullet
(and if Disney's right, a box office record...)
With thundering hooves, a cloud of dust and
a mighty hi-YO, Silver, Walt Disney Productions may have
just guaranteed where I'll be in the summer of 2010. According
Hill Media today, the Mouse House plans on announcing
a big screen adventure for The Lone Ranger.
Since producer Jerry Bruckheimer has done
so well with pirates (and, my own mixed feelings aside,
he has), he now wants to turn his attention to Westerns.
Not just any Western, and this should be the key, but the
masked man created by Fran Striker for radio back in the
How can we not be excited? Hill reports
a lot of ironies and naysaying (do check out the article
- it's good), but it boils down to a troubled history for
the Lone Ranger in the past three decades without pointing
out the obvious.
Here goes: in 1981, The Legend of the
Lone Ranger bombed. In the title role, Klinton Spilsbury
was so bad that James Keach came in and dubbed all his dialogue.
That didn't save it, of course, nor did the blistering but
not breakout performance of Christopher Lloyd as Butch Cavendish,
the man that killed all of the Lone Ranger's family.
Then Westerns in general haven't done well
in theaters since Mel Gibson's Maverick. The WB tried
to launch the Lone Ranger a few years ago with Chad Michael
Murray, but no one paid much attention to it. Thank heavens,
since it was forcing the character into the Smallville
mode, which was really initially an attempt to copy Buffy
the Vampire Slayer. Let them find their own voice, thanks.
Apparently, a four-year attempt at Columbia
Pictures to make the Lone Ranger also failed. So why should
this time around be any more exciting?
The Lone Ranger is on the upswing. Dynamite
Publishing has successfully relaunched the character in
comic book form, and it's been a consistently high seller,
as well as being just a darned good book. Hill also leaves
out that from 1981 on, those masked man projects have sucked.
It's the quality that will bring us out
on something like this. Wild Wild West tanked? (And
you know some pundit's going to bring that up…) Please
take into account that IT WAS TERRIBLE and audiences
figured that out early on. If it had been good, we'd have
a special edition DVD by now.
Allegedly, Bruckheimer has retained Ted
Elliot & Terry Rossio (professionally, you have to use the
ampersand) to write the screenplay. Not only did they make
the Pirates trilogy work, they also did wonders for
Zorro. So that's a no-brainer.
Thank you, Disney. Now …who will be that