Ready for its masked man to ride off into the box office sunset, Disney hosted the premiere for “The Lone Ranger” at California Adventure, in Anaheim, on June 22, with stars Johnny Depp (who plays Tonto) and Texas Ranger Armie Hammer greeting fans separately on the 1,500 feet of red carpet that winded its way from the entrance of the theme park to the 2,000-seat Hyperion Theater. One of the film’s locomotives and the white horse that portrays the Lone Ranger’s Silver, were also on hand, along with co-stars William Fichtner, James Badge Dale, Barry Pepper and Ruth Wilson.
“It was paramount to get the chemistry right,” said Jerry Bruckheimer of the pairing of Depp and Hammer. “We were writing this for a young Jimmy Stewart character. There are no Gary Coopers out there anymore. When Armie put on the mask he was the guy.”
Director Gore Verbinski said the film was a tribute to Hollywood’s old Westerns and wanted to feature stunts actually performed on set. “Ninety percent of the movie is exterior locations,” said Verbinski of the film which lensed in Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and California. “We had people on trains, in trains and under trains. We wanted to embrace making a Western the way they were made. It’s a lost art.”
Tickets to the event, which cost $1,000, supported the American Indian College Fund, per Depp’s request, with attendees able to spend time at the park’s Cars Land and attend a latenight “World of Color” performance after the screening. If the film were turned into a theme park ride, “it would have to involve “something with a train, a mine car and horses,” Hammer said.
The premiere for Bruckheimer’s fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” adventure was held at Disneyland in 2011.