The Lone Ranger feature is definitely happening. The Disney big screen adaptation of the old school radio/television series has been in development for a while now, and two important roles have already been filled. Jerry Bruckheimer is on board to produce and Johnny Depp will star as Tonto, the sidekick to the Lone Ranger. According to /Film another name is being considered for the production, and it’s Mike Newell. The director is currently in talks to helm the Terry Rossio & Ted Elliott adaptation.

Mike Newell would actually make a pretty good pick in terms of talent and vision. He obviously does well with fantasy films, he’s the man behind the 2005 installment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as well as the upcoming Prince of Persia film. He also directed Depp in the 1997 crime drama Donnie Brasco, so they’ve already established a working relationship with one another.

Even though things seem to be moving along smoothly there is a conflict of interest. Since the Lone Ranger is being produced by Disney, we probably won’t get a Green Hornet crossover. In Hornet, the hero’s alter ego Britt Reid is the great nephew of the Lone Ranger. Michel Gondry, who’s directing Hornet spoke to MTV and  confessed that he would like to work in a Lone Ranger connection in his film. “I’ve suggested that in a cemetery we would see the horse of the Lone Ranger.” It doesn’t sound like much, but I guess it’s the best he can do.

With Disney closing in on a director, and big names like Depp and Bruckheimer already attached, who will play the Lone Ranger? That’s what we seem to be missing here. What actor is masculine and charismatic enough to dwarf Johnny Depp on screen? That’s a hard role to fill.

Who do you think should direct The Lone Ranger? Is Newell a good pick?