The first image from its new film "The Lone Ranger," which stars Armie Hammer as the masked hero and Johnny Depp as his "spirit warrior" sidekick, Tonto, has been released by its distributor, the Walt Disney Company.
In the photo, Depp, 48, sports war paint, a bandana, a beaded choker, feathers and what appears to be a crow on top of his head. He he looks, unsmiling, at Hammer, 25, who is wearing his Lone Ranger outfit, complete with a cowboy hat and mask, and is staring ahead into the distance.
The project comes from the filmmakers of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series and sees Tonto, described as a "spirit warrior on a personal quest," joining forces with John Reid, a lawman who becomes a masked avenger nicknamed the Lone Ranger, in a "fight for justice."
The franchise 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." The "Lone Ranger" franchise sees the main character and Tonto fighting crime in the Old West and spurred the hero's catchphrase, "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" He shouts it to his horse.
The "Lone Ranger" movie is directed by Gore Verbinski, who directed Depp in the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, and is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who also worked on the hit Disney franchise.
Production on "the Lone Ranger" was delayed last year due to budget issues. Filming began in mid-February. The movie is set for release on May 31, 2013.
Bruckheimer and Depp have previously collaborated on the successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise and Verbinski directed the first three films. The screenwriters of the film franchise, Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott, also penned the script for "The Lone Ranger," along with Justin Haythe. He wrote the screenplay of the 2008 movie "Revolutionary Road," which united "Titanic" stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
"The Lone Ranger" also stars Tom Wilkinson and Barry Pepper, who both starred in the 2011 mini-series "The Kennedys," and Helena Bonham Carter, who appeared with Depp in films directed by his friend and her life partner, Tim Burton, such as "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" and "Alice In Wonderland."
Depp and Bonham Carter also appear together in the new movie "Dark Shadows," which is based on a cult TV show and is set for release on May 11.
Hammer last appeared in the 2011 movie "J. Edgar" with Leonardo DiCaprio and famously played both Winklevoss twins in the 2010 film "The Social Network." He can also be seen next playing Prince Charming in "Mirror, Mirror," a comedy film adaptation of "Snow White," alongside Julia Roberts. The movie is set for release on March 30. Check out a trailer here.