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Johnny Depp Nearly “Mangled” by Horse on ‘Lone Ranger’ Set

Johnn Depp on the set of 'The Lone Ranger'Johnny Depp was nearly "horrifically mangled" by a horse while filming The Lone Ranger. The 49-year-old heartthrob plays Native American warrior Tonto in the new Disney western and had an "unpleasant" moment when he fell off his steed, causing him to almost be crushed by the "death machine" of an animal.

Speaking on The Late Show With David Letterman, Johnny said:

"There was one moment in particular where it got unpleasant. We'd been running [the horses] all day and they weren't really interested in slowing down, at all. My horse that I was on decided to jump a couple of these little obstacles. The horse was unaware that the saddle I was wearing to sit on top of it was sort of jerry-rigged, kind of faked. When we came down, the saddle slipped and I went to the left and [lost] the reins, somehow I had the wherewithal to grab his mane - all very calm for some reason, I figured fear would kick in, but it didn't. I saw in front of my eyes these very muscular horse legs and the striations of muscles moving, this kind of death machine. One word popped into my head - hooves! You know? Hooves. In any case, mind the hooves."

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Johnny Depp Hurts His Back on Lone Ranger Set

Johnny Depp on the set of 'The Lone Ranger'Johnny Depp injured his back shooting The Lone Ranger.

The 49-year-old actor was left writhing in pain on two occasions during action scenes for the Western film - in which he plays Native American Tonto opposite Armie Hammer, who portrays the title character - and he has now realized he can't do many of his own stunts and needs to rely more on a double.

"While it's been hard to accept that he can't perform such demanding feats anymore, Johnny is seeing it. He threw out his back twice while shooting the movie and then had to push through, getting massages in between takes," a source told Star.

As well as suffering with back pain, Johnny has also been struggling with insomnia on set. But the director Gore Verbinski and the crew have been sympathetic to the sleep problems the Hollywood star has been experiencing and have adjusted shooting schedules for him. "Johnny is also struggling with sleep problems so the crew has had to adjust to the fact that he can't shoot all night. He needs at least six hours of shut eye. This movie has really kicked his butt. He's so happy it's wrapping up and has joked that his body wouldn't be able to take another month of it," the source added.

Johnny Depp: Lone Ranger Movie Great, Funny

Johnny Depp

“What we’ve got screenplay-wise is really great, really funny,” actor Johnny Depp said of his new movie project.

The actor was referr to Disney's The Lone Ranger reboot, in which he'll be playing the role of Tonto, the Ranger’s ever-present sidekick.

Depp, who is part Cherokee, is excited about the project. “I always felt Native Americans were badly portrayed in Hollywood films over the decades,” he told reporters. “It’s a real opportunity for me to give a salute to them.”

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Johnny Depp Attached to More Disney Projects

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow has just now officially sold his soul to the Mouse.

After starring in several blockbusters for , the Oscar-nominated actor is ready to go back for more. The studio has just announced that the money maker will be starring in not one…not two…but three more projects for them.

In addition to reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow (yes, there will be a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean installment), Depp will be taking on the character of Tonto in an adaptation of The Lone Ranger.

Johnny will also - surprise! - appear in yet another Tim Burton film. Although it was already suspected that he would participate in Alice in Wonderland, his signature was only recently placed on the dotted line. Depp will now be joining Mia Wasikowska as the Mad Hatter.

Alice - which will use the same technology implemented in Beowulf - is slated to hit theaters in 2010.

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