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OTRC: 'The Lone Ranger,' starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, to be released in December 2012

Johnny Depp appears at the May 2011 Los Angeles premiere of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.' / Armie Hammer appears in a scene from the 2010 movie 'The Social Network.' (Walt Disney Company / Columbia Pictures)

"The Lone Ranger," a film reboot based on the iconic masked hero that stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, has received a release date - Dec. 21, 2012.

Production on the movie is set to begin later this year on the film, the Hollywood Reporter said.

Hammer, who played the Winklevoss twins in "The Social Network," has been cast as the Lone Ranger while Depp, who turned 48 on June 9, is playing his Native American companion, Tonto.

The franchise, which features the duo fighting crime in the Old West, spurred the Lone Ranger's catchphrase that he shouts to his horse: "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!"

"The Lone Ranger" began as a radio series in the 1930s and inspired films, television shows, comic books and records, as well as the spin-off "The Green Hornet," which was also adapted into a comic series and a 2011 film starring Seth Rogen. Clayton Moore played the Lone Ranger in the television series that ran between 1949 and 1957.

Gore Verbinski, who directed Depp in the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films and the animated movie "Rango," is the director of the new "Lone Ranger" movie, which is being distributed by Disney.

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