‘The Legend of the Lone Ranger’: The Story Behind the Legendary TV Movie
The Legend of The Lone Ranger was born from a very simple idea: “We have to make a movie that was as big as a live action movie,” says producer Robert Zemeckis, the man who helmed the first two movies in the series.
“It just seemed like a great way to spend the money and put it into something that would be more than just a TV show.”
It would be his first film as director, and it would be Zemeke’s biggest-budget production.
The Lone Rangers had been on the air for only four years at the time.
But the first movie, the 1968 action comedy starring Tom Selleck and John Wayne, had already sold millions of tickets and generated a huge buzz, and Zemeek wanted to make the next one even bigger.
So he and his team, led by the legendary producer Robert Bergh, decided to make it into a movie.
“The whole idea of the film was that it was an all-inclusive package, with the story and characters that you knew and loved,” Zemecker says.
“And then the way it was written, it felt like an extension of the show, which was something that I’d always loved.”
The movie was to be set in a remote region of Alaska.
But that wasn’t the only place the movie was set.
Zemecko and his crew had been working for nearly two years on a script for an entirely different kind of movie: a story about a family who were living in the remote village of Lillooet.
In their original plan, the Lilloos were being raised by a clan of Native American women.
But a woman named Linda (Linda Wilson) took over their village and started to teach them about women.
So the Lills began living in an extended family, with their children attending a traditional Lillahoe school.
This led to an ongoing feud between the Lells and the neighboring tribe, the Chumash.
“When we started to go into the Lilla, we were told that they were just living in this little trailer,” Zeman says.
They went back and forth and tried to live the Lillo lifestyle, but eventually, they came to the conclusion that the lifestyle was not sustainable.
“We had to go back to the land, and they were living like it was their last chance,” Zemaks says.
So, they took a long look at their village, and realized that they weren’t going to be able to live there forever.
“I remember looking out my window and thinking, ‘This is a beautiful place, but we’re not going to survive,'” Zemaek says.
The Lillos started moving out of the trailer and into their own, semi-homes.
And, in an attempt to survive, they started using more traditional techniques like cooking and hunting.
But, they soon noticed that the traditional way of life was getting increasingly difficult.
“A lot of the women had just gone back to their original village, but the women were becoming more and more stressed out and tired,” Zemek says, describing one of the most dramatic scenes.
“They started to realize that this was not going anywhere.
They wanted to go out into the wilderness and have a chance to live their life, so they started looking for the nearest forest.”
The result of their search was a series of events that would lead to one of Hollywood’s biggest movie franchise hits.
And the movie that would become The Lone Stranger, the first of Zemeks two best-known TV series, was written by Zeme and producer John Krasinski.
And it was a blockbuster hit, with over 30 million viewers tuning in for the original series.
The original Lilloet was also an important part of Zeman’s career.
In the original movie, he plays a sheriff named John Lilloy who is hired by his sister, Lillie, to help protect the Lillian Hills from bandits.
In later versions, Zeme was played by his longtime love, Lili Reinhart.
And in the new movie, Zeman plays Lillen and Lillu, two young Native Americans who go out and save their town from bandits and bad guys.
Zeman was on set with Lili and Lilla when the original Lillian movie was shot, but he says he wasn’t really involved in filming the new one.
“You see a lot of actors who were very excited about the Lili story, and I was just watching the Lilli films with my girlfriend and we just loved them,” Zemen says.
And he remembers the film’s producers not really giving him much to work with, except to have the Lilu characters come in and out of scenes, and to have Lill’s story be told in the way that it had been in