A couple of weeks back, Collider put out the rumor that the minds behind the PIRATES trilogy– Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski, Ted Elliott, and Terry Rossio– were in talks to make a movie out of THE LONE RANGER. We were obviously pretty psyched about that, but no official confirmation came, so…
Well, today, Box Office Mojo’s got an interview with Elliott and Rossio, and here’s what they have to say about upcoming projects they’re planning:
Box Office Mojo: What types of screenplays are under consideration?
Ted Elliott: We want to do a Western. The public consciousness that existed when Westerns were popular—that sense that, if you leave town, you could easily die—isn’t there anymore.
Terry Rossio: If you think of The Searchers, that lack of civilization is dangerous.
Ted Elliott: I think it started to fall away in the middle to late Sixties to the early Seventies—this idea, as in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, that the men you need to build a civilization have no place in it once it’s been built. If you think about the idea of a hero, the last thing you want to show up in your life is a hero—because all that can mean is that there’s something really bad going on. The only time heroes show up is if there’s conflict. It’s not good to be around heroes if you’re not a sidekick—you can become collateral damage way too easily.
Terry Rossio: The other thing that happened to the Western is the political correctness about the Indians—or the Native Americans. There was a point where the wilds were [considered] scary partly because the [Indians] would, as in The Searchers, come in and wipe you out. Then, somehow, we started to sort of understand that Native Americans perhaps shouldn’t be cast as such bad guys considering we came in and slaughtered all of them and that had the effect of making the Western less [appealing] and making those open spaces less frightening. In the Western that we want to do, those open spaces need to be made frightening.
Ted Elliott: Actually, the minute it became sort of understood that maybe the Indians had a really good reason to do what they were doing, they stopped doing that in movies.
Hmmm… now if we put two and two together here…