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The Lone Ranger (2013) Poster

Trivia

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In an interview, Johnny Depp thanked his stunt horse, Scout, for saving his life after a violent fall during filming. After Scout dragged Depp 25 feet, Scout jumped over him to avoid stepping on him. A clip of the fall shows the horse clearly jumping over Depp, and detaching him from the saddle. Depp suffered only minor bruises and scrapes, but says it could have been a lot worse if the horse had stepped on him.
Tonto means "fool" in Spanish and Italian. In Spanish versions of this film, Tonto is renamed Toro, which means "bull."
The "frame story" where young Will meets the old Tonto takes place in 1933, the year of the first Lone Ranger radio broadcast.
During the opening sequence of the bank robbery, the music in the background is the Overture of William Tell, by Gioachino Rossini, which is later played extensively in the film's climax. This was the musical cue used in the original radio show and later films, particularly for intense sequences. It became so popular that most people know it only as the "Lone Ranger" theme.
Johnny Depp's makeup and costume were inspired by artist Kirby Sattler's painting "I am Crow."
"Sands' Theme", from Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), is credited to "Tonto's Giant Nuts." It was actually written by Johnny Depp, who invented the name as a joke. Despite popular rumor, it is not the name of his band.
The Lone Ranger comments that it has been 9 years since he last fired his gun. The movie was shot in 2012, 9 years since The Lone Ranger (2003)'s most recent TV appearance.
As an homage to John Ford, the scene that introduces John Reid features passengers singing "Shall We Gather At The River." It was Ford's favorite hymn, included in at least five of his movies.
Near the film's climax, crates of explosives are visible, with the Giant Powder Company of San Francisco's logo. The company was the United States' first licensed manufacturer of dynamite.
Gore Verbinski, Jerry Bruckheimer, Armie Hammer, and Johnny Depp openly criticized the American critics' The Lone Ranger (2013) reviews, with Depp saying "the reviews were written 7-8 months before we released the film." Bruckheimer felt the film was overlooked and that critics "were reviewing the budget, not reviewing the movie." It was also the similar manner of speaking when compared to John Carter (2012), when critics criticized the film by its similar problems, but not the film itself. Armie Hammer shared a very interesting point on the matter, "If you go back and read the negative reviews, most of them aren't about the content of the movie, but more what's behind it. It's got to the point with American critics where if you're not as smart as Plato, you're stupid. That seems like a sad way to live your life. While we were making it we knew people were gunning for it. I think it was the popular thing when the movie hit rocky terrain they jumped on the bandwagon to try and bash it. They tried to do the same thing with to World War Z (2013), it didn't work, the movie was successful. Instead, they decided to slit the jugular of our movie."
Though set in Colby, Texas, the film includes obvious shots of Monument Valley, Utah, a favorite filming location for American director John Ford. According to Wikipedia, "Ford's evocative use of the territory for his Westerns has defined the images of the American West so powerfully that Orson Welles once said that other film-makers refused to shoot in the region out of fears of plagiarism."
Quentin Tarantino named this movie as one of his ten favorites films of 2013.
This is the first version of "The Lone Ranger" in any medium in which the actor playing Tonto receives top billing.
The Wild West sideshow where young Will meets the elderly Tonto is called "The Thrilling Days of Yesteryear." The opening narration of the original Lone Ranger radio program invited listeners to "return with us to the thrilling days of yesteryear."
The original Lone Ranger radio serials led to a spin-off radio serial, The Green Hornet. The title character's alter ego, Britt Reid, was John Reid's great nephew. Tom Wilkinson appeared in the remake of The Green Hornet (2011).
The film was originally supposed to have a plot focusing more on supernatural elements and Native American mysticism. This mainly would've taken the form of werewolves, which would've explained the silver bullets. However, this draft was supposedly part of the initial $250 million proposal that Disney quickly cancelled after John Carter (2012) underperformed. When the project was revamped to meet Disney's approval, it came more in line with the current script.
This film is one of the biggest financial flops of all times and lost the studio between $94 - $119 million dollars.
Despite being one of the biggest box office disasters of 2013, Jerry Bruckheimer believes that The Lone Ranger (2013) will be, in years to come, rediscovered as a masterpiece. In an interview with Vulture Magazine, he said. " I think it is going to be looked back on as a brave, wonderful film. I've been though this a lot with journalists. We made a movie years ago called "Flashdance" and I remember one journalist just giving us the worst review ever. Then, about five years later, we get this kind of love letter - that he totally "missed" it. That he loved the movie. And it's kind of the same with you that, any time it's on, you have to watch it. It happens, you know."
The musical cue in the shot of Red sitting under the painting of a ballerina is the Swan Theme from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
Early in the film, one of the Texas Rangers refers to "Redleggers." They were anti-slavery advocates that later became a Union cavalry unit (from their uniform, which substituted red ribbons on their blue pants instead of the Yellow stripes of the US Army Cavalry. This is shown clearly in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) in particular. They fought primarily against the pro-slavery 'border ruffians.' This group also was called Jayhawkers (the Jayhawk became the mascot for the University of Kansas). Texas was principally southern and joined the Confederacy.
The production went through many problems, including bad weather, wildfire, a chickenpox outbreak and the accidental death of a crew member. These problems almost led to the film's cancelation.
This is not the first time Johnny Depp has played a Native American. He played Rafael, a Native American, in his directorial debut The Brave (1997). It was never released in the USA due to bad reviews at Cannes.
At the beginning of the movie we see several close-ups of the confection bag that the boy drops, and then later trades with the aged Tonto for a mouse. Clearly seen is an elephant and the words "fresh roasted peanuts" all in red ink on the bag. Later, when Tonto is remembering burying the slain rangers, he trades the ranger with the pictures of dance hall girls the same empty confection bag.
During the opening train scene, Johnny Reid (Arnie Hammer) says as he is attempting to become free from the chains, "That's reinforced Bethlehem Steel." The steel company he names was founded in 1857 named "Saucona Iron Company" was first organized by Augustus Wolle. On May 1, 1861, the company's title was changed again, this time to the Bethlehem Iron Company. In 1899, the company assumed the name Bethlehem Steel Company. Bethlehem Steel built many products used in the the US infrastructure and creating many war time products as well.
The sixth Disney film to receive a PG-13 rating, under the Disney banner, in the United States. The previous films were Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) (and its sequels), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), and John Carter (2012).
Many scenes in the movie pay homage to well known films, e.g. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), For a Few Dollars More (1965), Indiana Jones, Back to the Future Part III (1990), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and many of John Ford's films, shot in Monument Valley.
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Todd McDaniels, a linguist at the Comanche Nation College, commented favourably on Johnny Depp's attempts to speak the Comanche language, which has 25 to 30 living native speakers. "The words were there, the pronunciation was shaky, but adequate."
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The book that John Reid calls his "bible" is "Two Treatises on Government" by John Locke, a 17th-century English social scientist.
Gore Verbinski, Jerry Bruckheimer, Johnny Depp, and Armie Hammer equally deferred 20% of their salaries to minimize the overall cost.
The two steam locomotives used in the film each had a pair of 1,000 hp Cummins diesel engines in their tenders that supplied their power and movement, and where hydraulic hoses connected the engines to their tenders. Both trains were operated by a computer inside both of their cabs, but a real locomotive engineer had to be inside them to control the brakes, and he would override the computers in case of an emergency. Special effects were used to produce the smoke and steam that came from the engines.
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The fairground organ music during the opening 1933 San Francisco scene is taken from a recording made on the Wurlitzer theater pipe organ of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, United Kingdom.
At the beginning of the movie when Latham Cole looks at his pocket watch, there are faint chimes heard in the background in homage to Lee Van Cleef's pocket watch in For a Few Dollars More (1965).
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Although Armie Hammer plays the title role, Johnny Depp gets top billing and was the focus of the marketing.
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Despite the producers citing the presence of an adviser from the Comanche Nation, some debated the advisability of casting of Johnny Depp as a Native American and whether the film would present a positive and accurate representation of the Comanche. Depp has stated he believes he has Native American ancestry, possibly from a great-grandmother. He has said that he considered the role a personal attempt "to try to right the wrongs of the past", in reference to portrayals of Native American culture in the media.
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The exploding bridge scene is very similar to the one in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), in which Allied POW's make a plan to sabotage their Japanese captors by blowing up a bridge during WWII.
The first film cinematographer Bojan Bazelli has shot with anamorphic lenses since Body Snatchers (1993).
This is the second movie starring Johnny Depp in which the line "Stupid white man" is used by a Native American character, although this time the line is cleaned up for a Disney movie. The other movie in which the line is used is Dead Man (1995), in that movie the line is said by Gary Farmer as "Stupid fucking white man."
Jessica Chastain and Abbie Cornish were considered for the role of Rebecca Reid, but lost to Ruth Wilson.
The scene at the water well is a combination of two scenes in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968); an early scene in which killers arrive at a remote farm, and a later scene in which a defender appears. In both, the insects stop chirping to signal the arrival.
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The music being played in the fairground at the very start is a famous Geordie folk song - "The Blaydon Races" by George Ridley.
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After filming was finished, the trains used in the movie were donated to the Fillmore and Western Railway in California.
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In September 2014, studio president Alan Bergman was asked at a conference if Disney had been able to partially recoup its losses on this film and John Carter (2012) through subsequent release windows or other monetization methods, and he responded: "I'm going to answer that question honestly and tell you no, it didn't get that much better. We did lose that much money on those movies."
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This is the first version of The Lone Ranger to be released in IMAX, as well as the first to receive a PG-13 rating.
The problem critics had with the film was mostly due to the casting of Johnny Depp as Tonto and that Depp played Tonto too much like his character Captain Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.
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The Weinstein Company was interested in purchasing the film rights from Classic Media in 2007, but the deal fell apart when Entertainment Rights eventually optioned the property.
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Disney delayed production of the film due to budget concerns and because Cowboys & Aliens (2011) underperformed.
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For the train scenes seen in the film, a large oval shaped track had to be built near Albuquerque, New Mexico to have rail lines that went north, south, east, and west. There were a total of 6 railroad locations in the film, but the oval was the largest. All the work was done by the Gandy Dancer Railroad and Excavating Services, who brought in 3,889,425 pounds of 33-foot rail, bars, tie places and ties from Blythe, California. The whole rail line had to be removed after filming was completed because the rail line had no outside interchange.
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Even the boy's cap-gun holster set is a period-accurate Keyston set made by the San Francisco company as early as the 1930s, when the Golden Gate was being built.
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Johnny Depp was 2 hours late to the script "read thru" because he wanted to read in full makeup and costume at the Albuquerque studios production office.
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The film surpassed John Carter (2012) as Disney's biggest bomb.
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In March 2002 Columbia Pictures announced their intention to make a Lone Ranger film with Classic Media, who owned the film rights at the time. Husband and wife producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher joined the project. The tone was to be similar to The Mask of Zorro (1998), and Columbia suggested that Tonto be re-written as a female love interest. The projected budget was set at $70 million. David Peoples and Janet Peoples were hired to write the script the following year, which was rewritten by Laeta Kalogridis. Jonathan Mostow was attached to direct by early 2005, but Columbia placed the film in turnaround.
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Several cast members had to receive formal training on horseback riding, gunslinging, and lassoing.
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In April 2012, it was announced that Jack White was hired to compose the score for the film. White later declined to work on the film's music, citing scheduling conflicts.
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The trains used in the film could reach speeds of roughly 30 miles per hour, which was the actual standard speed for locomotives during that era, but an EMD SW1500 diesel switcher was used for the scenes that did not show the steam locomotives.
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Andrea Riseborough and Sarah Gadon auditioned for a role.
The film was defeated at the box office by Despicable Me 2 (2013).
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The locomotives and rolling stock seen in the film were all built in a machine shop in Sun Valley, California. One of the two locomotives, a 4-6-0 or Ten-wheeler, was used in the beginning of the film and then was renovated into the "Constitution" locomotive seen later in the film. The other locomotive, a 4-4-0 or American, was based on the Central Pacific Jupiter that was on hand for the real Golden Spike Ceremony up on Promontory Point. For easy movement, the locomotives and rail cars were built in the same fashion as shipping containers so they could be added and removed from their chassis and then transported on flatbed trucks. This method was also used in part of the train chase scene that took place in the mountains since they could not build any railroad tracks up in the mountains.
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Besides the musical reference to Rossini's William Tell, there are at least 2 operatic plot references. The magic bullet which can never miss is a plot device in Weber's Der Freischütz, and the silver returning to the river from whence it came is a reference to the closing of Wagner's Die Götterdämmerung, where the Rhein gold returns to the river from whence it came.
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Mike Newell was considered to direct.
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Beginning in November 2013, the Autry National Center exhibited the costumes Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp wore in the film through a loan from the Walt Disney Archives.
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The film takes place in 1869 and 1933.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

One of the Rangers waiting at the train station has a "redneck toothpick" in his mouth. It is actually a baculum, an animal penile bone, most likely from a raccoon. Tonto later makes a trade while burying the man.
In the original radio series, Butch Cavendish and his men ambushed six Texas Rangers in the canyon called Bryan's Gap. The lead Ranger, Dan Reid, held the rank of Captain, and his brother John was already a Texas Ranger. The 25th Anniversary radio episode identified the other dead Rangers as Jim Bates, Sam Cooper, Jack Stacy, and Joe Brent.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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