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Disney selling tickets to 'Lone Ranger' premiere for $1,000 a pop

May 29, 2013|By Amy Kaufman
  • Armie Hammer, left, stars as the titular hero and Johnny Depp as Tonto in "The Lone Ranger."
Armie Hammer, left, stars as the titular hero and Johnny Depp as Tonto in… (Disney / Bruckheimer Films )

Want to share air with Johnny Depp? Cool. That’ll be 1,000 bucks, please.

That’s right: Tickets to the premiere of the star’s new movie with Armie Hammer, “The Lone Ranger,” are now available for purchase. The bad news? Attending the June 22 event at Disney California Adventure Park will cost you a pretty penny.

At least you can tell yourself that the money is going toward a good cause. All revenue collected from ticket sales is being donated to the American Indian College Fund, which provides scholarships to 34 different tribal colleges.

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Critics have raised questions about whether it was appropriate to cast Depp in the role of Tonto, a Native American who plays sidekick to Hammer’s masked Texas ranger. Depp, who wears a raven-adorned headdress in the film, has said he has “some Native American [in him] somewhere down the line.”

“[I]f there is such a thing as redface, this is it,” Jezebel said after images from the film were released last year. “Would Al Jolson's ‘Mammy’ routine have been okay if he was one-sixteenth African-American?” questioned Seattle’s SLOG.

At Las Vegas’ CinemaCon in April, Hammer defended the movie against such claims, telling The Times that on set in New Mexico, “every Native American we talked to was like, ‘This is awesome! I’m so excited.’ And every white person we talked to was like, ‘How dare you cast a non-Native American?’ It’s like, the white people are the one who have the problem, but the Indians -- the Native Americans -- are like, ‘This is great. We love it.’"

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The film, which hits theaters over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, is the costliest release of the summer, with a $225-million budget. With the splashy premiere in Anaheim next month, it’s clear Disney is trying to herald the arrival of what it hopes will be a blockbuster. In recent years, the studio has held similar premieres for its “Pirates of the Caribbean” films at Disneyland. ("Lone Ranger" is directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who worked together on several "Pirates" films.)

At “The Lone Ranger” unveiling next month, Disney will roll a red carpet down California Adventure’s version of Hollywood Boulevard, where thousands of park guests will stand “cheering for the film’s stars, filmmakers and the many Hollywood celebrities in attendance,” according to a press release. (Tickets are available at community.collegefund.org/the-lone-ranger)

The horse Hammer rides in the film, Silver, will be on hand, as will a train engine featured in the picture. A Ninja motorcycle from Kawasaki will be on display for stars to autograph. But don't expect gourmet grub: According to the release, Subway will be providing sandwiches.

So, hey. Even if you can’t take a selfie with Depp, at least you’ll get to enjoy a complimentary $5 footlong with that $1,000 ticket.

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