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Johnny Depp Plays Savage Tonto in Lone Ranger (photo)

Johnny Depp Plays Savage Tonto in Lone Ranger (photo) 1Johnny Depp’s controversial film, “The Lone Ranger,” will at least be one thing–highly visual. A new set photo showing Depp as Lone Ranger sidekick, Tonto, suggests a noble savage.

Depp, 48, who is known for creating colorful characters like Capt. Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter, has done the same with Tonto, who looks totally bizarre.

After all, “Tonto” means “wild one,” and Depp is apparently playing to type. It’s unknown how Indian groups will react to the character. Depp is the first non-Indian to play the role.

He’s pictured next to Armie Hammer , 25, who plays the masked lawman. The Lone Ranger first appeared on a radio show in 1933. But he never looked quite as swarthy as this.

A highly popular television show ran from 1949 to 1957. Actor Clayton Moore played a clean-cut version of the lawman, with Jay Silverheels as Tonto, who was also clean-cut and reserved.

A big screen version of the show, 1981’s “The Legend of the Lone Ranger,” starred Klinton Spilsbury as the Texas Ranger and Michael Horse as Tonto.

The latest version of the film, years in production and killed more than once, is directed by Gore Verbinski. Filming started this month. Helena Bonham Carter and Tom Wilkinson also star.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer provided the sneak peek today over Twitter. “Tonto and The Lone Ranger Ride Again!” he wrote.

The film will be released next year; check out the photo.

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