Johnny Depp is becoming the new face of Walt Disney Studios. The actor will preside over the manic tea party in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" as the Mad Hatter and will play Tonto in "The Lone Ranger," whose latest screen incarnation is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
Disney formally announced the casting Wednesday at a studio presentation. It also said it is officially in development on a fourth installment of "Pirates of the Carribean," which would see Depp reprise his popular role of Captain Jack.
A bit later: moving this up from the comments since the Tonto part seems to have caught everyone's attention :)
"Ranger," meanwhile, puts Depp back in business with Bruckheimer, who produced the "Pirates" movies. Tonto is the Native American colleague of cowboy hero the Lone Ranger. The casting could stir up controversy with Native American groups, who might accuse the studio of putting a white actor in the role. One factor that could counter such an argument is Depp's mixed ancestry, which includes German, Irish, and Cherokee.
"Ranger" is being written by "Pirates" scribes Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio and has no director at this time.