The Pole
Ear to the ground
“It’s Durango, so it’s really not that hard.”
– Local commenting on recent purported efforts to land on the cover of the paper through somewhat scandalous methods

Ya’at’eeh’ Johnny
In case you missed the flurry of Johnny Depp sightings around the Four Corners last week, not to worry. The Lone Ranger will ride again.

After more than a year of negotiations and wooing, the State of New Mexico has succeeded in wrangling the masked man and his Disney compadres to the Land of Enchantment.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Film Office officially announced that “The Lone Ranger” will begin shooting in New Mexico in February. Production is planned in and around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Shiprock and other locations until the middle of August.

Directed by Gore Verbinski, who directed Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the Western reboot will star Armie Hammer (real name) as The Lone Ranger and Depp as his trusty sidekick, Tonto.

Originally set to start filming in October, the beleaguered remake was saddled with troubles last year. With a ballooning budget of $250 million, Disney called off the project in August. However, in mid-October, it announced the project was back on with a slimmer $215 budget, thanks in part to a pay cut for Depp.

Aside from online postings questioning why a Native American wasn’t chosen for the role of Tonto, Depp fever was running rampant on the Navajo Reservation, where some filming will presumably take place.

Last week, Facebook and Twitter postings placed Depp everywhere from Target in Farmington to the Chinle Best Western.

According to the Navajo Times, Canyon guide Adam Teller, hearing a rumor that Depp was in search of a guide for the canyon, raced to the Best Western, where Depp was allegedly staying. Hoping to be the first to offer his services, Teller aborted mission when he pulled into the motel parking lot and “didn’t see any vehicles that remotely looked Hollywood-ish,” the Times reported.

However, a Best Western manager did tell the Times that Verbinski was lining up rooms for May.

So perhaps starstruck Four Corners residents will get a chance to catch Depp before he rides off into the sunset after all. And chances are, unlike the trademarked anonymity of the Lone Ranger, the film crew will be hard to miss, as Navajo Times writer Cindy Yurth explains. “If you live in the Kayenta area, expect some Hollywood types invading your space this spring, searching in vain for a soy latte. One would think they would be relatively easy to distinguish from the locals or your average pasty tourists looking for a deal on turquoise. But maybe not.”


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows