Disney have shown off the first footage from Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger and it looks pretty much as you’d expect. Same thing goes for Johnny Depp’s Tonto voice – nothing surprising there either.
The footage started with a shot of a western landscape, with the “camera” rushing forward and through a crack in a rockface. Inside, a tunnel, down which comes a steam train. It’s not a “literal” moment, but it introduces the train motif.
This is a film about trains. Gore Verbinski infamously boosted the film’s budget by having all new trains built for the film and not using any rolling stock from the on-rails prop houses.
And if there’s one thing I know about trains and the Old West, and there isn’t really, it’s something about how the railway led to standardised time. Towns were now connected by something on a schedule, so they had to agree to coincide their clocks.
And it’s this that I thought Tom Wilkinson’s voice over from the trailer was referring to but several people around me picked up hints of a time travel plot. Really – I’m not so sure. But maybe I missed something. I have now spoken to a good half dozen people who all thought they heard hints of time travel.
What I’m more sure of is what I did see. It was a rather scattershot trailer, not focused much on any one scene or locale. There was a lot of gunfire and in one shot, a young boy is seen throwing a silver bullet which moves in slow motion, and eventually in close up, presumably to The Lone Ranger himself.
There was more slow motion than that too. At least a couple of shots showed bullets landing, ripping up the fixtures and fittings in slo-mo.
We got a quick glimpse of Helena Bonham Carter, looking like Helena Bonham Carter with a parasol, and there was hardly any more of The Lone Ranger himself. There was a bit more of Depp as Tonto, including one stunt sequence that showed him hanging onto the underside of a train as it moved along.
I can’t say I really got fired up by what they showed us, though there was nothing catastrophic. The amount of slow motion and the rather pushed, stylised nature of some of the close ups seemed like it could possibly be annoying, but chances are, they’ve grabbed the more extreme moments for this trailer. That’s how these things work.
For a long time, a persistent rumour maintained that the film was to feature werewolves. That’s not the case. Is time travel going to be the new rumour that goes around? We’ll see.
If only Disney would release the trailer online so I could listen back and try to catch what was getting everybody hooked on the idea.