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From pirate to tribesman

Hollywood has seen few geniuses as godlike as Johnny Depp, but we're starting to think we may have reached the end of his winning streak. It's hard to draw any other conclusion from the news that he's to play Tonto in a new movie adaptation of the old TV show The Lone Ranger.

Tonto is, of course, Native American. So this is a chance for Depp to score some points with Oscar voters for his 'accent work.' And the film will reunite him with director Gore Verbinski, who brought such a great Depp performance to the screen in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Still, big-picture: this is a horrible idea. The Lone Ranger is old, simplistic, and naff, and it's hard to think of anyone with the straightforwardly upright reputation to play the lead in these morally-decrepit times. Perhaps they'll give us a brooding, troubled Ranger played by Leonardo DiCaprio?

Whatever happens, it won't be out for a few years, so perhaps something will come along to derail it. If not, we guess the thought of two hours of Johnny Depp in a loincloth vaguely makes it all seem less horrible.

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