In a piece of casting speculation that's so goddam cool we'll probably cry if it doesn't come into being, The Wrap has revealed that Ryan Gosling is in early talks to join Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger.
Depp has long been cast as Native American sidekick Tonto in the Disney movie, which will be directed by Pirates 1-3's Gore Verbinski, but until now there's been no indication of who could don the stetson and mask to play the Texas Ranger.
The report states that Gosling is in very early talks, and is keen to mention that his busy schedule (including a starring role in the Logan's Run remake) could keep him from signing on here.
If he could find a way to make it work, Gosling would surely be the perfect foil to Depp's Tonto. He's got the matinee idol looks to play the hero, but he's never afraid to subvert expectations when it comes to his leading man status (check out the recent Crazy, Stupid, Love trailer).
The Lone Ranger first appeared in a 30s radio show, before making the jump to TV in 1949.
Depp and Verbinski recently had success with animated Western pastiche Rango, and Disney will obviously be hoping that Ranger becomes another Pirates-sized hit.
Gosling seems to be taking a small break from gut-wrenching drama at the moment, but he could be reteaming with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance at some point for The Place Beyond The Pines.
The Lone Ranger isn't scheduled for release until 2014, so we're going to cling desperately to the hope that Gosling will be able to fit it into his schedule.
UPDATE: Since Saturday's report, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that Gosling won't be starring in The Lone Ranger, via one of the actor's reps. If you need us, we'll just be weeping quietly in the corner.
Source: The Wrap
If Gosling's not going to be involved, who would you like to see as The Lone Ranger? Drop your casting suggestions below…