'The Lone Ranger': Johnny Depp Works With 'Pirates' Designer Penny Rose For Tonto Costume

Rose helped the actor come up with his now iconic Captain Jack Sparrow costume for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.

If Johnny Depp’s costume and makeup in the just-released first look at The Lone Ranger looks a little over the top, that shouldn't come as a huge surprise.

After all, he’s working with his Pirates of the Caribbean costume designer Penny Rose, who worked on all four Pirates movies (Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003, Dead Man’s Chest in 2006, At Worlds End in 2007, and On Stranger Tides in 2011).   

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To say the actor and the costume designer have a very good rapport would be putting it mildly. It was Rose who initially gave Depp a wide selection of pirate hats. He went through them all, tried them on and picked the only one that he felt gave him just the right rock 'n' roll pirate swagger. Rose then had a dozen made up just like it. Now Depp's young fans around the world are wearing them.

So if Depp is wearing a dead raven on his head in the first Lone Ranger image--tweeted out by producer Jerry Bruckheimer today--you can bet it’s something he and Rose dreamt up together. Let’s just hope he doesn’t wear his war paint during the entire movie. But then again, we initially said the same thing about Capt. Jack's eyeliner and dreads.  

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Given that Disney came embarrassingly close to firing Depp for his stumbling drunken Captain Sparrow character, we’re willing to bet they will let him run with this new creation, who is now being called a 'Spirit Warrior.'

Armie Hammer who plays the handsome prince in Tarsem Singh's surreal and splendid Mirror Mirror, with costumes by the late Oscar-winning costume designer Eiko Ishioka, has that unbearably stoic Dudley Doright handsome every man quality. But that facade may belie a comic and inept underbelly. And the fact that he's wearing a black mask and not a white one like the original has us curious.

This is kind of off-topic, but we got to wondering who designed the original Lone Ranger's (Clayton Moore) mask and costume. It was none other than Nashville country couturier Manuel, who also made Johnny Cash the Man in Black, dressed all three Hank Williams, stitched up Elvis's lame gold suit, even did the suits worn by the Beatles on their Sgt. Pepper's album.

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Manuel also came up with the Rolling Stones' and the Grateful Dead's logos. And yes, he's still alive! Check out Manuel's memories on the Lone Ranger: “To get to do the mask, his uniform, his boots and his holster….it was indescribable.  I don’t have the words to express it.  I made the pattern according to the traditional way the masks were made.  I then had a face made up of clay and I shaped the mask over the eyes and over the face so it would fit just perfectly.”

Sure would be cool if Depp or Disney gave Manuel a cameo in this movie. RU listening, JB?

The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson, and Helena Bonham Carter. The Lone Ranger opens May 31, 2013.

Hi-Yo Silver, Away!