Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Perhaps Too Late.

July 3 will see the release of the latest big screen version of The Lone Ranger.  The relatively unknown Armie Hammer(who is the great-grandson of 20th Century American industrialist Armand Hammer) is in the title role, with the real star power coming from Johnny Depp as Tonto.  The latter casting has generated a lot of controversy, with many looking askance at a white actor playing a Native American.  Depp has claimed he has Native American ancestors, but the fact Depp isn't quite sure what tribe they actually were a part of hasn't helped dissuade the criticism. 

As a result some folks are hoping the film will flop.  I think there is in fact a chance the film won't make money, but not because of the Depp controversy.  A lot of people won't know about it before seeing the film, and many who do won't care.

Rather, I question the viability of the Lone Ranger character in the 21st Century.  A large percentage of the current film going public aren't familiar with the character.  The last attempt at reviving the franchise, a 2003 made for TV movie intended as a pilot for a TV series, failed.  I don't have the impression there's much of a Lone Ranger fandom around, and I question whether the character has much of a following outside North America..  So I wouldn't be surprised if the film does poorly.  And with a purported 250 million dollar budget a lot of bums are going to need to be in a lot of seats to break even.

No comments: