According to The Hollywood Reporter writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who are best known for their work on the Pirates of the Caribbean films, are updating The Lone Ranger for Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.  Classic Media owns The Lone Ranger property, which began as a 1930s radio show created by George W. Trendle and developed by Fran Striker and quickly became a cultural phenomenon spawning movie serials, comic strips, comic books (the Dell comic series ran for 145 issues and Dynamite Entertainment has been publishing an ongoing Lone Ranger comics since late 2006) novels, a popular TV series, and a cartoon.


In spite of this lengthy pop culture resume attempts on both the big and small screen to revive The Lone Ranger in recent decades have failed miserably.  Youthful actor Klinton Spilsbury starred in a 1981's The Legend of the Lone Ranger movie that was so bad it ended his career (of course the fact that his lines had to be over dubbed by another actor doesn't exactly indicate that his acting chops were in the Spencer Tracy range). The movie also provides an object lesson in the way in which a Hollywood studio can sabotage itself by outraging fans of a beloved property.  Universal filed a well-publicized lawsuit to prevent Clayton Moore, the iconic actor who had played The Lone Ranger in the popular 1950s TV series, from making any appearances in costume -- and then the studio rubbed salt in the wound by giving a cameo in the film to John Hart, the actor who had unsuccessfully (in fans' eyes anyway) replaced Clayton Moore for a season in a salary dispute.


A more recent onscreen attempt to revive the property in 2003 with a new Lone Ranger TV series on the WB network failed when the two-hour TV pilot movie was poorly received.  So it appears that Elliott and Rossio have their work cut out for them if they want to resuscitate The Lone Ranger -- though they did manage to bring back another musty western franchise with their script for The Mask of Zorro, which earned over $250 million at the worldwide box office in 1998.