Surprise: The Lone Ranger Trailer Debuts At Comic Con

The Lone Ranger is much more about trains than you're probably imagining. Disney snuck a brief trailer for their upcoming, huge-budget action film at the very end of today's Hall H panel, and for about a solid minute the entire focus was on railroads-- the laborers who built them, the businessmen who profited off them, and a man in voiceover explaining that "Whoever controls this, controls the future." Finally Tonto (Johnny Depp) and the Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) appear, but while it's not entirely clear what they're doing with the railroads, we do get to see Depp clinging to the underside of a moving train-- so there's something you don't see every day.

The glimpses at both characters were incredibly brief-- the big money shot of the two of them together was essentially just a moving version of this promo image, and at the tail end of the trailer we see the two of them trying to take over a train, but entirely in quick cuts. Depp's look as Tonto is just as strange as you think, and in one line of voiceover dialogue-- "There comes a time, kemosabe, when good man must wear mask"-- he's speaking in a kind of broken English that I'm sure has already made Native American groups furious (I'm willing to withhold judgment to see how it works out, though it still seems dicey). But Hammer looks every bit the classic, square-jawed hero as the ranger, riding horses and hold a gun and wearing a mask that, somehow, doesn't look ridiculous. In the span of a two-minute trailer, at least.

The trailer ended with the tag "still in production," and director Gore Verbinski has been famously battling for a bigger budget-- which really seems to be paying off, it's fair to say, from what we saw in that trailer. The movie version of The Lone Ranger is obviously going to be a great deal bigger than the old TV show, and the sets-- from a saloon hall to a train station to the incredible expanse of Monument Valley-- look worth the expense. If the movie is about the real, rough-and-tumble action of men jumping on trains and chasing each other on horseback, we could be in for an enormous but somewhat old-school kind of action Western. But are there giant CGI effects waiting for us that just aren't finished yet?

Hopefully this Comic Con trailer for The Lone Ranger will be online soon, and you guys can help me sort out some mixed feelings about Depp's Tonto, and maybe confirm that Hammer was pretty much born to play a Western hero. Either way, we'll all get a look at the final product for ourselves when The Lone Ranger opens July 3 next year.

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend