In the works for what seems like forever, the big screen version of "The Lone Ranger" is now happening and is now pegged with a blockbuster sized release date.

Disney has announced that "The Lone Ranger" will gallop into theaters on December 21, 2012. The Gore Verbinski-directed film was written by Justin Haythe, who adapted “Revolutionary Road” for Sam Mendes as well as the “Jekyll” project for Keanu Reeves. Johnny Depp will take on the role of the sidekick Tonto, while Armie Hammer will put on the spurs for the titular part. It's expected that this new version will find the pair on equal footing, with Depp promising to bring some integrity to the Native American character.

The date is already a crowded one with Ang Lee's "Life Of Pi," Judd Apatow's "Knocked Up" spinoff and Phillip Noyce's "Hunter Killer" all scheduled, not to mention that it's a week after Peter Jackson's mega "The Hobbit" arrives. Expect a couple of these movies to move very soon to get some breathing room. [Deadline]