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DocWildNole
topic
07:13:53 AM Jun 21st 2014
It occurred to me, watching this — and I wanted to love it — that this is probably the most, shall we say, subversive movie that ever got the Disney label attached. The military is either dupes of the corrupt Big Bad, or actively evil. Businessmen are cowardly greed-heads, except for the madam with an ivory prosthetic. A few Christians are thrown in, for no other purpose than to portray them as naive dolts. Tonto's a lunatic and the Ranger himself is either a bumbling naif transformed into a supernatural warrior (which one editor removed) or at best blessed with sheer dumb luck. This is not what your average Disney audience member or Ranger fan expected — or, given the box office total, wanted. A What the Hell, Writers/Executive Producer Johnny Depp might be in order.
Torque2100
topic
01:43:47 PM Jan 13th 2014
edited by 172.3.221.153
We really do need a section in YMMV about the massive production problems and bizarre backstage politics that plagued this film.

According to some reports that surfaced after The Lone Ranger's disastrous opening weekend, most of the problems with the movie can be laid squarely at Johnny Depp's feet. Not only was the stupid Dead-Bird-On-Head look his idea, but as pre-production went on Depp started to demand ever more extensive re-writes, all of which amounted to having Tonto do more and more of the heroic stuff until the film was essentially about him and not the title character. Furthermore the Mood Whiplash inducing violence and gore were actually put into the script as an act of rebellion by the writing team hoping to sink Johnny Depp's re-writes. Well their plan backfired as the ultra-violent stuff was okayed anyway at Depp's behest.

This isn't getting into Gore Vidal's bizarre ideas for the film which included an original script where the Lone Ranger is fighting Werewovles.

In this troper's opinion this is enough to Qualify for a Screwed by the Network , or at very least a Screwed by an Actor's Bloated Ego.
sharkticon
02:53:01 PM Jan 13th 2014
That would be trivia, actually. not ymmv.
Larkmarn
topic
10:18:26 AM Dec 10th 2013
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: Both Depp and the producers should have known that there would be some people upset that a man with, at most, only unconfirmed, distant Native American ancestry is playing an Native American character, especially those who remember Jay Silverheels and Michael Horse, enrolled members of the Mohawk and the Zuni nations respectively, who made their mark playing Tonto. Ironically, if Depp took the time and was able to confirm that he did have Cherokee ancestors, he might be eligible for enrollment in the Cherokee nation.

Got removed without reason. Given the guy's other edits it seems like he's trying to stifle criticism. Tonto is... polarizing, to say the absolute least. Definitely deserves a mention, even if the guy disagrees. It's a subjective item for a reason.
Terrie
topic
06:39:56 AM Jul 11th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.44
Okay, do people think that Tonto's crazy rises to the level of Crazy Awesome? Remember, that it's someone who is awesome BECAUSE he's crazy, not someone who takes their awesome to crazy levels or their crazy to awesome levels.
cookieman
topic
09:54:18 PM Jul 6th 2013
Butch Cavendish a Complete Monster?

What do y'all think? I know he crossed the Moral Event Horizon for sure but do y'all think he's really a Complete Monster?

1. A few of his acts seemed heinous such as swallowing the hearts of his murder victims, killing anyone who got in his way or opposed him. 2. He has invoked fear within some audience members and the people throughout, and none of his actions are Played for Laughs. 3. Doesn't seem to regret for his crimes, although Latham Cole may seem worse.

Discuss this ...
StarSword
04:44:52 PM Jul 9th 2013
StarSword
10:18:17 AM Jul 10th 2013
edited by 69.172.221.8
Butch Cavendish approved as Complete Monster. Asked here, answered here.
Eagal
topic
09:11:54 PM Jul 5th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.42
  • Of course, Depp was "adopted" into the Comanche nation by LaDonna Harris, Depp has evidently identified Cherokee ancestry, and Depp isn't the first non-Native American actor to play Tonto, so really what are they complaining about?Casting choices they don't like, basically.
    • Actually, they're complaining about a long history of white actors being cast as non-white characters because directors have unconscious prejudices against putting non-white actors in leading roles. Also, Depp said he was probably part Native but hasn't actually looked into it, the Cherokee tribe does not recognize him as a member, and the adoption makes him a part of Harris's family, not the Comanche Nation itself. So for all intents and purposes, he is in fact white. Plus just because there's a precedent for something doesn't make it okay.

Regardless of the other stuff, can you substantiate the allegation that Depp's casting choice was a result of "unconscious prejudice against putting non-white actors in leading roles"?

And if Depp is "for all intents and purposes" white, then what you (not necessarily you you, just generally the other guy you) are doing is discounting any claim he may or may not have to Native American...ism for the sake of maintaining your position.

Now, as to being a member of Harris' family and not a member of the Comanche nation, that's really just splitting hairs. Interesting tidbit: John Wauqua, who is Comanche Nation Interim Tribal Chairman (which, I don't know what that is but it sounds important XD) was present at the "adoption" ceremony thingamabob.
Terrie
04:52:34 AM Jul 6th 2013
Even if he's right about his ancestry, Depp is of over 90% European descent and has zero connection to Native culture. How does that make him anything but white?

Also, just because Tribal elder was present at the adoption doesn't mean much of anything. If the Prime Minister of the UK had dropped by during the adoption ceremony, would that make Depp a citizen of the UK as well?
Terrie
04:52:37 AM Jul 6th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.44
Double post. Sorry.
Eagal
08:02:02 AM Jul 6th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.43
Complain about Depp not being Native American, but when Depp purports to have at least some Native American ancestry, you say he's not Native American enough.

The presence of the tribal elder doesn't mean much of anything, but then again, neither does his adoption in the first place. It's just a thing for the warm and fuzzies, but it looks good on the ol' resume.

Point is, there's no reason to dismiss Depp or accuse him or those involved in the film's production of prejudicial casting choices. Maybe it was because Depp's probly a better actor than any full-blooded native american. Or maybe it was because Depp's famous. His name on the movie = buku bucks (or at least, that was the expectation. It seems to be doing not so well at the box office.)
Terrie
08:54:09 AM Jul 6th 2013
In my case, I say he's not Native at all. He has neither known ancestry (I don't accept a "Maybe, somewhere back there" as proof) nor, more importantly, any ties to the community. Nor do I think he's a better actor than every Native actor out there. He's a decent actor, but not a great one. That leaves "name recognition" as the only reason to cast Depp. But why cast him as Tonto? Why not cast him in, oh, the title role? There are plenty of reasons to be upset with the casting choice, and, honestly, unless they were involved in the casting, I don't really see why people feel threatened and have the need to defend a dubious casting choice like this.
KevinKlawitter
11:41:09 AM Jul 8th 2013
Your statements about Depp having "zero connection to Native culture" are based on what? What do you have to back that statement up? I don't suppose you've heard of The Brave, an allegorical film about the continued plights of Native Americans that he co-wrote, directed, and starred in back in 1997. Seems odd to me that an actor with "zero connection to native culture" would make his only directorial effort about that very same subject.

You cannot determine reality based solely on your whims. Just because you choose not to accept that he has Native ancestry doesn't make that the case. There are many things to dislike about this movie and Johnny Depp's performance in it. You don't need to make up attacks on his heritage to supplement them.
Terrie
02:20:45 PM Jul 8th 2013
Having an interest in the topic doesn't make him part of the culture. When I talk about having connection to the culture, I'm talking about growing up and living in the culture. He did not. Hence, zero connection.
StarSword
04:51:12 PM Jul 9th 2013
Can't speak to the rest of it, but Unfortunate Implications requires a source citation for use now.
Larkmarn
07:04:36 PM Jul 9th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.45
That won't be hard; The first thing that comes up when googling "Johnny Depp tonto" turns up "Johnny Depp as Tonto Divisive" and the second thing is "Not AS Racist As You Think." As such, UI can definitely stay. Regardless of whether it's justified, it's certainly a measurable audience reaction.

Ethnic Scrappy... I don't think people actually disliked him. That strikes me as just another platform to push "I don't like Johnny Depp as Tonto." And this is coming from someone who doesn't like Johnny Depp as Tonto.
Terrie
07:17:05 PM Jul 9th 2013
From what I've seen, some people have really disliked Tonto. But because of Depp's status as executive producer and the way he made the development of the role his pet project, I think even those people are unsure of how much of it is the role of Tonto, and how much of it is Depp as Tonto. To me, it's an odd cross between Ethnic Scrappy and Executive Meddling.
Larkmarn
05:37:18 AM Jul 10th 2013
Oh, I've seen plenty of people that disliked Depp as Tonto and Depp in regards to the movie as a whole, but few took issue to how Tonto was actually written or the actor's performance (aside from people calling it "Captain Jack in less makeup," but I feel like that's along the same line).
Terrie
08:31:16 AM Jul 10th 2013
Actually, I've seen multiple people note that the framing device of Tonto in a "museum" setting, his being "crazy" and his use of broken English are horrible and somewhat offensive choices in how the character was portrayed. But, again, because Depp is also executive producer and took a highly active role in how the character developed, it's unclear to what extent it can be seen as an issue with Depp, and how much it's a problem with how the character was written.
Larkmarn
08:49:25 AM Jul 10th 2013
The "crazy" I've heard complaints about, but more for the Unfortunate Implications.

If that's what you've heard, then I'm fine with it. I've not really been paying attention to the whole debate... which is why UI is so, so, very worth noting, because it's pretty much impossible to not hear about people crying out about it.
chitoryu12
11:16:39 PM Jul 14th 2013
His "craziness" and broken English would only be offensive if they were the standard portrayal of Native Americans in the film. On the contrary, there's a highly important scene regarding Tonto's backstory with the Comanche that proves that he's NOT a standard Native American. Tonto is heavily mentally scarred and in denial about his role in the villains' rise to power and the destruction of his village. When we see other Comanche, they're completely coherent (especially the tribal chief, who speaks perfect English) and relatively accurately depicted.

Complaints about Tonto's appearance or behavior being offensive are essentially complaints about nothing. You're taking a depiction of someone who's not in a proper state of mind and blinded by revenge and complaining that a minority is depicted as behaving like that.
Terrie
12:13:26 PM Jul 15th 2013
Well, the broken English IS a standard stereotype, so yeah, doesn't matter of they came up with a reason, since they could have chosen to tell the story without the stupid stereotypes. In fact, many of the complaints about the "crazy" are that it's just an excuse to trot out the standard stereotypes. Tonto can still be out for revenge without being a nutcase. Moving from "They're stereotypes because we can't be bothered" to "Our main character is a stereotype because Freudian Excuse." is not really much of an improvement and misses the point.
Terrie
05:08:12 AM Jul 26th 2013
A note on my latest edit on What The Hell, Casting Agency? — since I got distracted and forgot to include it. Just a rewording to make it clear that Depp might not be able to confirm his claim of Native heritage.
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