The Lone Ranger has been slowly picking a path back to movie screens. In September word filtered out that Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski was in talks to direct a new version of the story for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, with Johnny Depp in the cast.

Now it is official: Disney is moving forward on Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger.

No word yet on who’ll play the Lone Ranger; Johnny Depp is set to play Tonto, the native warrior who finds the wounded ranger and keeps him alive.

Justin Haythe wrote the script, and we don’t know at this point how closely it sticks to the classic story in which the title character is one of several Texas Rangers chasing the outlaw Butch Cavendish and his men. The rangers are ambushed and most are killed, but Tonto finds and rescues the man who will become the masked avenger The Lone Rander.

There’s no start date for the film yet.

Previously, from Peter:

The project was initially announced in 2007, with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Pirates of the Caribbean/Shrek screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio penning the script. A year later, in 2008, it was revealed that Johnny Depp had been cast as Tonto, and George Clooney was rumored to be in talks to play the title character. Last summer it was rumored that Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Donnie Brasco, Prince of Persia) was in talks to direct, which clearly isn’t happening now. And in February, the mouse house hired Justin Haythe, who adapted Revolutionary Road, to pen a draft.  Haythe was most recently working with Walt Disney Pictures on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo before a recent change in staff put the project in the trash.

Adapted from the 1930?s radio show, which later became a popular live-action television show in the 1950?s. The Lone Ranger is a masked Texas Ranger in the American Old West, who gallops about righting injustices, usually with the aid of a clever and laconic American Indian sidekick called Tonto, and his horse Silver. He would famously say “Hi-yo Silver, away!” to get the horse to gallop. Hollywood has tried to remake the Lone Ranger twice now, a 1981 film titled The Legend of the Lone Ranger and a 2003 WB television movie/pilot, both of which were not well accepted.

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