Disney to donate Lone Ranger premiere profits to Native American charity

As the studio is criticised for casting Johnny Depp as Tonto, the filmmakers promise premiere takings will be given to the American Indian College Fund

Disney are set to donate the proceeds of ticket sales from the premiere of Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp movie Lone Ranger to charity.

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The studio was criticised for casting Depp as Native American character Tonto by a number of film critics, as well as American Indian institutions such as Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and Colville Tribes of the Pacific Northwest. And although Depp has promised that “This Tonto isn’t the obedient sidekick he has been portrayed as before” there are still concerns circulating over whether he was an appropriate actor for the role.

In an attempt to quell concerns – and as a thank you to the Comanche tribe who assisted production and allowed the crew to film on their land – Disney have promised to donate the profits from all premiere ticket sales to the American Indian College Fund. These are some fairy pricey tickets, too – a seat at the premiere, which will be held at Disney’s California Adventure Park, will set back cinema-goers a hefty $1,000.

The casting row isn’t the only setback the film has suffered. Production was peppered with financial problems and the project, which is rumoured to have cost £150m, was shut down between shoots in an attempt to cut costs.

Western adventure Lone Ranger tells the story of John Reid and Tonto as they band together to seek justice. The film, which reunites Pirates of the Caribbean duo Gore Verkinski and Jerry Bruckheimer, also stars Helena Bonham Carter, William Fitchner and Ruth Wilson.

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Lone Ranger is in UK cinemas 9 August. Watch a trailer here.