Wilkinson in early talks for “prominent role.”

Variety reports that British actor Tom Wilkinson (‘The Conspirator,’ ‘The Green Hornet’) has entered talks to join ‘The Lone Ranger,’ joining Armie Hammer as the titular hero and Johnny Depp as his sidekick Tonto.

Wilkinson would be portraying a railroad tycoon, a role “prominent” to the movie’s plot. So we are guessing that means he is the villain.

Gore Verbinski (‘Rango,’ ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’) is directing from a script by penned by ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise scribes Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio and Justin Haythe (‘Revolutionary Road’).

Production on is set to begin as soon as Depp finishes up on Tim Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows’ and Hammer wraps up on Tarsem Singh’s untitled Snow White project, which co-stars Lilly Collins and Julia Roberts.