Ten years ago, the first trailers were appearing for a hopeful big summer blockbuster that many thought was destined for disaster. The movie would be taking on a genre that had long since led to nothing but flops, starring some relative unknowns backed up by quirky character actor Johnny Depp, and would be based on source material that raised many an eyebrow. But the summer of 2003 saw “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl” become a monster hit, launching one of the biggest modern-day franchises, stretching to four movies to date, and turning Depp from beloved oddball to global megastar.
A decade on, Depp, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, writers Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, director Gore Verbinski and studio Disney are crossing their fingers that they can repeat the trick again with “The Lone Ranger,” a revival of the popular pulp Western hero starring Depp as sidekick Tonto, with Armie Hammer as the masked Ranger. The film’s had a troubled production — shut down in order to try and get the budget down, only for it to skyrocket once the film went before cameras anyway — and it still remains something of a question mark in the eyes of many. Disney premiered a second trailer for the film overnight over at Apple — is it likely to put some of those fears to rest?
Eh. After a confident teaser in the summer, this seems a little more unsure of itself, with an awkward tone that blends the dark, gritty tone suggested by the previous spot with a broad, wacky sense of humor more familiar with the “Pirates” movies. It makes sense for Disney for push the latter, given how beloved Jack Sparrow is up, but we hope that Verbinski is able to combine the grit with the horse reaction shots more successfully in the finished product. Some of the money shots at the end are a bit underwhelming too.
Still, the cast — which also includes Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham-Carter and James Badge Dale — is strong, it looks gorgeous, it’ll carry a score by Jack White, and we remain fond enough of the original “Pirates” film that we’ll always be hopeful that Verbinski & co. can do the same thing for the big budget Western. We’ll find out when the film hits on July 3rd. In the meantime, watch the trailer below, or in HD over at Apple.