Lawton rolls out the red carpet for Johnny Depp for Comanche Nation premiere of 'The Lone Ranger'

Depp, alongside director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, arrived at the Carmike Cinemas in Lawton for a premiere of “The Lone Ranger.”
BY GEORGE LANG glang@opubco.com Modified: June 21, 2013 at 10:28 pm •  Published: June 22, 2013

But Bruckheimer, who produced the “Pirates” films as well as “Top Gun,” “Armageddon,” “Beverly Hills Cop” and other successful big-budget films, said the Lone Ranger and Tonto are classic American film heroes, and that the time was right to reintroduce them.

“We lost that Western genre,” Bruckheimer said. “We've got to bring it back.”

The event was attended by more than 1,000 fans as well as local and Comanche Nation leaders, featuring traditional Comanche dancers and drummers in full tribal regalia. Coffey said he lobbied hard with the Walt Disney Company, the film's studio, to bring the red carpet premiere to Lawton.

“It has a Comanche presence ... and Johnny plays an awesome role,” Coffey said.

Before entering the theater, Depp made the rounds among the fans, posing for photos, signing autographs and spending time talking to people who braved 95-degree temperatures to see him. He said that getting the character right and paying respect to the Comanches were his primary concerns, something he hoped the Lawton audience would see on the screen.

“It was with great respect for the native people,” Depp said. “That was first and foremost on the agenda.”