If last year's "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" proved anything, it's that perhaps Gore Verbinski had got a rough ride. The second and third movies of the Disney mega-franchise may have been bloated, indulgent and sometimes uninvolving, but they looked like masterpieces compared to Rob Marshall's fourth installment, which lacked the inventiveness, weirdness and... well, competent directing of Verbinski's original trilogy. And let's not forget that the first film remains one of the best summer blockbusters of the 21st century so far.
Now, a decade on from "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl," and six years since Verbinski departed the franchise, the director is back, reuniting with star Johnny Depp, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and writers Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio for "The Lone Ranger," another prospective blockbuster that hopes to give new energy to a dormant genre. The film just wrapped after a tumultuous production that included a temporary delay to bring the budget down, only for it to soar again once shooting got underway. On top of a host of images and photos, the first trailer has now arrived via Comic Book Movie, giving the first proper glimpse at the film.
From what we can tell, it's the same clip that premiered at Comic-Con back in July, placing an emphasis on the plot, which revolves around the coming of the railroad to the old West, as brought by villain Tom Wilkinson (heard, but not seen), with Armie Hammer's Ranger and Depp's KISS-make-up-wearing Tonto facing off against him.
The tone certainly seems to be more serious than the Pirates movies, and if any of the supernatural elements from earlier script drafts remain, they're played down in the promo, but there's plenty of big-scale action, mostly on-rails, to be seen. What's perhaps most surprising is that the clip doesn't revolve around Depp in the way you might imagine it would, which bodes reasonably well for the film itself. That said, while we're not against what we're seeing here particularly, it'll take a bit more than this to really get our hopes properly raised. Although maybe that's for the best?
"The Lone Ranger" also stars Helena Bonham-Carter, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, James Frain, W. Earl Brown, Harry Treadaway and Damon Herriman, and opens on July 3rd, 2013.