Hi-yo Silver, awaaaay (I couldn’t resist)! The New Mexico Film Office has announced that Walt Disney Pictures’ ‘The Lone Ranger’ will start principal photography in New Mexico in February, with filming running until the middle of August. An outstanding cast has been assembled for the film, with Armie Hammer (The Social Network) taking on the role of the titular character and Johnny Depp portraying Tonto. The likes of Ruth Wilson, Dwight Yoakam, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale, Barry Pepper, Tom Wilkinson and James Frain are set to co-star. The film, which takes place in 1869, is directed by Gore Verbinski for Walt Disney Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films. The plot-line is as follows; A Texas Ranger, left for dead, is saved by the Commanche Tonto, who gives his new partner the masked identity of Lone Ranger. ‘The Lone Ranger’ would mark Verbrinski and Depp’s fifth collaboration after the first three ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies and ‘Rango.’ ‘The Lone Ranger’ is scheduled to be released May 31st, 2013. Check out the official press release below.

Governor Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Film Office announced today that Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ The Lone Ranger, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp, will begin principal photography in New Mexico in February 2012, with production planned in and around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Shiprock and other locations around the state through the middle of August 2012.

“The Lone Ranger is proof that New Mexico’s film industry is alive and well,” said Governor Martinez. “This administration is committed to fostering productive relationships with film studios so we can continue to offer our talented workforce and breathtaking backdrops for major productions. As we continue to build upon our reputation as a premier film production center, we are pleased to welcome The Lone Ranger to our state.”

State and local officials have been working with the Walt Disney Studios for over a year to bring the project to New Mexico.

“We couldn’t be happier to bring The Lone Ranger production to New Mexico. The state’s world-class crews, local talent and spectacular locations will be critical in helping us take this iconic story and legendary characters to new heights,” said Jerry Bruckheimer, Producer.

“I’d like to thank Governor Martinez, the New Mexico Film Office, and the people of New Mexico for welcoming The Lone Ranger to your state.”

“We welcome The Lone Ranger to Albuquerque,” said Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry.