The Biggest Superhero Films That Didn't Happen, Part 2
Comic Books, Film
In a packed Hall H, Disney capped off its Comic-Con International showcase by debuting the teaser trailer for The Lone Ranger, the big-budget Western that reunites Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski with Johnny Depp (as Tonto), and bringing in Armie Hammer in the title role.
Moderator Chris Hardwick simply told the audience, “It wouldn’t be Hall H if we didn’t have a surprise, and Disney’s got a huge surprise for you guys!” The lights dimmed to whoops from the expectant crowd, which was unaware of what was about to be screened.
As the footage opens on a train catapulting through a desert landscape, the voiceover booms, “From the time of Alexander the Great, no man could travel faster than the horse and carriage. Not any more.” The audience cheered, catching on. The narrator continues, “Whoever controls this controls the future.”
What follows are quick clips of men on horseback racing beside the train – clearly an attempted heist – followed by an overhead shot of men in black suits arguing around a large table shortly before the room erupts into a bullet-ridden massacre. Along with the heist, we see a little boy on the train throwing a shell casing – it careens toward the screen in slow motion. We’re treated to myriad shots of shoot-‘em-up-style action in a Western town, and voiceover via Tonto kicks in saying, “There will come a time … when good man must wear mask.” The big reveal – a black-masked Lone Ranger on a cliff surveying all below him, with Tonto by his side – elicited cheers from the room.
We see quick edits of snippets that include the Lone Ranger sans mask (presumably in John Reid mode), Helena Bonham Carter with a deep red-auburn hairdo piled high, Tonto riding alongside, and attempting to fight his way onto, a train, and various gunplay ordeals, all with a decidedly Verbinski vibe (ambitious set pieces, rowdy tongue-in-cheek action, plenty of sped-up and slowed-down shots for emphasis and a dramatic score to accompany it all). Depp’s costume has a Jack Sparrow bent, thanks to his long, wind-tousled dark hair, but also includes white face paint with thick black vertical lines on his cheeks.
The trailer ends with “Now in Production.” The Lone Ranger arrives in theaters July 3, 2013.