Do you follow Production Weekly on Twitter? If not, I recommend it – they just drop news out of the blue and with little fanfare. Here’s an example: yesterday the site’s Twitter feed reported that the new Lone Ranger movie has a director, and it’s Mike Newell.
Yes, Newell is continuing his strange career morph into a blockbuster movie guy. The director of Enchanted April and Four Weddings and a Funeral has, in the last few years, directed such pictures as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and recently finished shooting Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. The Lone Ranger feels like more of the same for Newell, who once directed movies like Pushing Tin and Donnie Brasco.
But here’s the thing: if the movies are good, who cares? Goblet of Fire is arguably the best of the film series, and if anybody could make as dumb a movie concept as Prince of Persia work, I’d bet it would be Newell. My only concern about him taking on The Lone Ranger is that I wonder if the Western is foreign to him. But fuck it – Donnie Brasco has nothing to do with Four Weddings and a Funeral and it’s a fucking fantastic mob movie. Newell can do whatever he wants, as far as I’m concerned. And if he is taking on The Lone Ranger for the paycheck, the important thing is that he doesn’t just slack on it. Take the money, but do the work. And I think Newell will do just that.