The Looong Ranger

Spoiler Alert: There are a few spoilers in this mini-screen play in case you haven’t seen The Lone Ranger.

The scene is Disney Studios.  TJ is pitching a new movie script to Don, who has the final say in what films are produced by Disney.  They face each other across an enormous teak desk.  The script, almost three inches think, is on the desk in front of Don, who’s been leafing through some storyboards.

Don: So, TJ.  The storyboards look good but I need to have the essence of this film.   Without reading the script.  Enlighten me.
TJ: Yeah, Don, it’s a remake of a classic Western.lone ranger
Don: Like True Grit?
TJNo older.  How about The Lone Ranger?
Don: My Dad used to watch that.  He’s the masked guy, right?  Do you think the kids will go for it?  I mean, they don’t have a clue who he is.
TJ: That’s the beauty of it.  We can do whatever we want to the story and they won’t care.
Don: So who have you got in mind for the Lone Ranger?
TJ: Armie Hammer.
Don: Don’t you think he’s a little too pretty to be a cowboy?
TJ: A little beard, some make-up.  He’ll be fine and he brings in the girls.  Besides, our Lone Ranger isn’t a tough guy.  He doesn’t like to fight or use a gun.  He’s a lawyer.  His brother is the tough guy but gets killed.
Don: The old farts won’t like that.  They’ll want the Lone Ranger to be heroic.
TJ: We don’t make any money off them anyway with those senior prices.  And quirky, vulnerable heroes are in.  Look at Batman.
Don: But he kicked ass.  Didn’t the Lone Ranger have a sidekick?  An Indian named Tonto?  That could be touchy.  We’d better use an Indian actor.
TJ: Native American, Don.  Native American. Don’t worry.  They don’t have much political clout, particularly since they got the casinos.  We’ll use a whole bunch of ’em in bit parts.  And we’ll throw in some unnecessary massacres of the tribe by white men to show ’em we’re on their side.  We’ve got Johnny Depp for Tonto.
Don: Johnny Depp?  How will he pass as an Indi … Native American?
TJ:  He’ll wear tons of make-up.  Look how long that kept them coming to see Pirates.   And we made Tonto kind of funny like Jack Sparrow.  He wears a dead crow on his head and keeps trying to feed it.  He’s on a quest and has been looking for a spirit walker to help him.  You know, a guy who died and came back?  Tonto wanted the tough brother but the horse chose Hammer.  It makes for a good bit.  Tonto calls him Kemosabe which he says means Wrong Brother.
Don: Is that what that meant?  My Dad told me it meant friend in some Indian lingo. The horse.  Big white one, Silver, right?
TJ:  Yeah.  In our version, he’s a spirit horse who chooses Hammer.  He can appear on rooftops or in trees which makes for some great escapes.   And Tonto keeps trying to talk to him.  Funny.
Don:  Yeah, funny.   So what else have you got?  Bad guys.
TJ: Oh, yeah.  The leader of the gang eats people’s hearts and is as ugly as sin.  Dirty, too. Ugly, dirty cowboys.  You can practically smell the whole bunch of ’em when they’re on screen.
Don: Great,  We can use those guys from Pirates of the Caribbean.  They’re still under contract.
TJ:  Right. That’s what I thought.   And then there’s murdering U.S. Cavalry and rich fat-cat railroad barons exploiting everyone.  The ninety-nine percenters will love that.  And there’s romance.   See, Hammer’s always been in love with his brother’s wife.  She loves him, too.  His brother’s always known.
Don:  So they hate each other, right?
TJ:  Nah.  They’re close.  The brother tells Hammer he can have her when he dies.
Don:  Wow. That’s good.  How about some soft porn for the teenage guys?
TJ:  Hookers.  Dozens of ’em.  All with half their boobs hanging out.  And the head hooker has a fake leg made out of scrimshaw.  With a gun built into it.  It’s a metaphor for the dangers of dealing with prostitutes.  Just in case there’s a thinker in the audience.
Don:  Oh, artsy.  Give me a great finish and you’ve got me.
TJ: OK.  A chase with two runaway trains.  The dirty cowboys are on one with a whole bunch of innocent women and children.  And Tonto’s on the other one with the murdering cavalry captain.
Don: Where’s the Lone Ranger?
TJ: On Silver, naturally.  Riding along the top of the moving train.  That’s why we made him a spirit horse, so he can do stuff like this.  And right before the train goes into a tunnel, the horse jumps into the train and now the Lone Ranger’s riding through the train, shooting at the captain on Tonto’s train. The women are all screaming.  Tonto uses a big ladder to switch trains and they rescue everyone.  There’s this funny scene where the Lone Ranger and Tonto try to blow up a bridge but it doesn’t work.  At the end, you find out it did and the bad guy’s train goes into the river.
Don: Sounds like a winner to me.
TJ: One more thing.  The story is told by an old Indian who’s part of a Western Museum in 1933.  To a little kid who’s dressed like the Lone Ranger.
Don: Native American.
TJ: Yeah.  The Native American turns out to be Tonto.
Don: He’s been living in a museum?
TJ: It’s artistic license, Don.  A dramatic device.  The kid’s cute.
Don: I’m sold, TJ.  How much to make it?
TJ: $220 million.  $250 tops.  We’ll make it up in the first weekend.
Don:  Do it!
TJ: One more thing.  It’s two and a half hours long.
Don: Long is in, TJ.  Maybe we should call it the Looong Ranger.

(Laughing.  Fade to black)

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One Comment on “The Looong Ranger”

  1. cherperz Says:

    I didn’t think I wanted to see this but now, I am hooked. Sounds a lot funnier than Sharknado. Guess, TJ might of over estimated the first weekend sales a bit but there is always DVD sales down the road to help offset that $250 million dollar production cost.

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