'Pirates' Director Gore Verbinski Reteaming With Johnny Depp For 'Lone Ranger'

Johnny Depp and Gore VerbinskiThe cry emanating from Disney today probably sounds something like this: Hi-ho, Verbinski! Deadline confirms that the Mouse House and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have officially tapped Gore Verbinski, who directed the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, to reunite with star Johnny Depp for the studio's reboot of "The Lone Ranger" franchise.

Depp is set to play Tonto, a Native American warrior who nurses an injured Texas Ranger back to health after his entire party (save himself, of course) is decimated by a band of outlaws. Once strong like bull again, this Lone Ranger dons a mask and, with Tonto by his side and his trusty steed Silver beneath him, hunts down the aforementioned outlaws.

There's no word yet on who will play Tonto's main kemo sabe, the Lone Ranger... but may we suggest Robert Downey Jr.? We've wanted to see RDJ as a cowboy since he was tentatively attached to "Cowboys & Aliens," a role that ultimately went to Daniel Craig. Depp and Downey have very similar comedic sensibilities and, as such, could play very well off each other if the tone here is to be a bit light (and we suspect that it is). And, if there's a more bankable duo out there at the moment, we have yet to meet 'em.

As far as Verbinski goes, this marks the fifth time he's worked with Depp --Johnny also lends his voice to the googly-eyed lizard star of Verbinski's upcoming animated flick "Rango" -- so they clearly work well together. And, as Verbinski proved with the "Pirates" films, he's got a knack for big-ass spectacle and filmmaking on a grand scale. In other words: Hi-ho, (box-office) gold!

Does a Depp-Verbinski "Lone Ranger" collaboration sound like a match made in a tropical paradise like, say, the "Caribbean"? Tell us in the comments!