William Fichtner is a badass. This has always been true, even as the character actor rocked his way through Baygasms and indie hits alike. With Dwight Yoakum out of Gore Verbinski‘s forthcoming Lone Ranger, there was a spot to fill, and the production has improved on its casting with the opportunity. Yoakum is interesting, sure, but no one touches Fichtner’s track record of stellar acting that makes everything he’s in just a bit better than it was before.

So while Nathan questioned whether the acting singer’s departure was a bad omen in the link above, it looks like everything’s worked out for the even-better.

Now the question is whether he can translate this into the kind of stardom the guy has deserved all along. It’s a massive movie with Johnny Depp pulling in crowds and a proven large-scale filmmaker, and even though he’s been in this position before, Fichtner has always been tucked away into a larger ensemble. Here, he’ll be even better equipped to steal scenes as well as boost (and get boosted) by actors like Tom Wilkinson (who will play a big boss villain). Fichtner’s role, Butch Cavendish, is the leader of a gang and the main villain facing off against Armie Hammer’s Ranger. That’s fertile ground.  At any rate, even if this doesn’t make him a household name, it’s still great to hear him cast in anything. Maybe there’s hope for this strange bird after all. [Deadline Destin]

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