BREAKING: Disney will release Lone Ranger on December 21, 2012, giving the studio a big holiday entry in a crowding field. The film, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Armie Hammer as the title character and Johnny Depp as Tonto, takes place in 1869. A Texas Ranger, left for dead, is saved by the Comanche Tonto, who gives his new partner the masked identity of Lone Ranger. Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio wrote the script and Jerry Bruckheimer is producing. The film begins production later this year.