The photo was of Armie Hammer as the masked crusader and an almost unrecognizable Johnny Depp as Tonto. His stripped-face makeup and stuffed bird atop his head sent a clear message to filmgoers: This is not your daddy's "Lone Ranger."
Depp, however, had a clear vision of the revamped Tonto: "I'd actually seen a painting by an artist named Kirby Sattler, and looked at the face of this warrior and thought: That's it," Depp told EW.
And so, the 21st century Tonto was born, even down to the headdress, which to Depp was of paramount importance.
"I thought: Tonto's got a bird on his head," he said. "It's his spirit guide in a way. It's dead to others, but it's not dead to him. It's very much alive."
In addition to Depp and Hammer, the film boasts a strong supporting cast of Helena Bonham Carter, William Fichtner and Tom Wilkinson.
"The Lone Ranger" hits theaters May 31, 2013.