Here is the new look Lone Ranger and Tonto. I grew up with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels black and white repeats in Australia and had the Lone Ranger action figure and Silver in the early 1970’s. Although unlike Simon Pegg I did not find Tonto sexually attractive with his clothes off…
I own DVD episodes and my mother in law bought me a complete action figure just like the one I had when I was a kid. Mine is probably at the bottom of a sandpit in South Australia somewhere. ..
I cannot relate to a Lone Ranger that does not wear sky blue. Tim Burton kept the mask (which looks like a left over from Batman) and the white hat but made his outfit black. I just don’t get it. I feel angry. He has messed with a brand that I love. He has messed with my memory of that brand.
Bad guys wear black and why does he look so intensely depressed?
Tonto looks like The Crow meets Edward Scissor Hands on a horse. Tonto is not meant to be scary. Simon Pegg won’t fantasise about this Tonto. Marilyn Manson might…
Branding is important from the get go. Lone Ranger is more than a brand. It’s an icon. A tradition.
Imagine years from now when they do a Star Wars remake ( They will…) Chewbacca has Green Fur and Darth Vader is dressed in all white or pink or glowing yellow. Would the fans be just a little bit disillusioned? Their grandparents and great grand parents will have introduced them to the brand just like they were introduced to icons like Mickey Mouse and The Lone Ranger when they were kids.
Brand awareness is permanent. Once you make something that’s popular for the world to see and the world accepts it there is no going back. You can’t change the brand. Imagine purple Smurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Wombats, an audible Donald Duck, Micky Mouse with a low pitch voice, A green Spiderman, Homer Simpson thin and smart. A right handed Ned Flanders. It would not work.
What the producers of this remake are not paying attention to is the power of the brand and it’s nostalgic pull. Lone Ranger makes me think of my child hood, of security, of happy times. Mess with the branding and you mess with the association. When I heard it was being remade I was excited. I wanted to go to see the movie in a flash because it reminded me of that magical Christmas in 1976 when Lone Ranger entered my life under the Christmas Tree.
That’s a big part of the attraction, like Star Wars episode 4 in 3d when they get to it. I’ll be there, just like I was there for the anniversary in 1996 and the original as a kid all those years ago.
Last night we watched Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris just hoping that our restaurant might appear. To our surprise it did. We saw The Shakespeare Bookshop and there right next to it was a glimpse. The film went to a lot of places that we had been to over several visits and brought back strong and pleasant nostalgic memories. Midnight in Paris is just like Notting Hill to us because Notting Hill reminds us of 2 years of living in London and all the sights that appear, we have been to or walked past frequently.
Nostalgia is powerful.
So Hollywood remember that when you turn our dramas into comedies and our heroes into dark depressing caricatures, you are messing with the brand and when you mess with the brand, you mess with the fans.