Hi-yo Silver, awaaaay (apologies, I couldn’t resist)! Deadline bring word that William Fichtner has landed the role of the lead villain in Walt Disney Pictures’ ‘The Lone Ranger.’ Fichtner is replacing the previously attached Dwight Yoakam as Butch Cavendish.  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, 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’ marks 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. Principal photography begun on ‘The Lone Ranger’ this month in Mexico, with production planned in and around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Shiprock and other locations around the state through the middle of August 2012. Fichtner recently filmed Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Elysuim’ with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, as well as ‘Phantom’ opposite Ed Harris and David Duchovney.

Providing us with a small amount of insight into the film, Johnny Depp had the following to say about his apporach to Tonto recently: “What I like about Tonto is the idea that this character who is thought of as ‘the sidekick’—that’s the thing that always bugged me about The Lone Ranger is ‘Well why is the Indian the sidekick? Why does he have to go get you that thing?’ And I couldn’t stand that always. My approach to Tonto is that there’s this crazy like a fox stoicism to Tonto that Tonto probably believes that The Lone Ranger is his slave, his sidekick. So it’s like ‘Go get me the thing,’ ‘No, no, no you go get it. You’re the one dressed in the funny outfit, you go do it.’”

‘The Lone Ranger’ started as a radio program in 1933 and aired nearly 3000 segments over the next two decades.  A 221-episode TV series followed from 1949-1957 on ABC. Expect synopsis details and set images to emerge in the coming weeks.