Hunter S. Thompson & The Lizards

I’ll admit that I’m hardly the first person to notice this, but I don’t generally keep up with the latest movie news unless it’s a project particularly close to my heart. But I couldn’t help raise an eyebrow at the trailer for Johnny Depp’s latest effort: as the voice of a lizard in Rango (2011).

Watch the following video and pay particular attention around 1:47 mins.

Here’s the still frame.

Looks like the Good Doctor, right?

This little joke comes pretty quick. Blink and you’ll most like miss it. But it’s not the only reference to Hunter S. Thompson. Take a look at the movie poster. The main character isn’t exactly free of HST-influence. He may not have the hat and glasses like the man in the car, but Rango’s Hawaiian shirt and lanky free, coupled of course with Johnny Depp’s voice and the desert setting, bring to mind Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Fans of Hunter S. Thompson will surely be amused by this reptilian interpretation. In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas the author describes a room full of lizard-like creatures that plagued him after arriving at his hotel.

By Ralph Steadman:

From the movie:


So what would Thompson likely make of this?

I imagine he’d be none too pleased by Depp’s depiction of a somewhat Raoul Duke-esque lizard. He didn’t like being depicted as a cartoon, even though he was responsible for perpetrating that image. I think he’d find it a bit insulting and probably lecture “Colonel Depp”.

But personally I find it amusing and I tip my hat to Depp for bringing a little Gonzo to the screen. If nothing else, this trailer gives us something to think about until we’re finally treated to that elusive Rum Diary….

3 Comments to “Hunter S. Thompson & The Lizards”

  1. So glad that I’m not the only one who made the ‘Fear & Loathing’ connection upon viewing this trailer. I wondered if it was intentional by the filmmakers, or it I was just some being a HST fanatic.

    • Like I said, I viewed this and thought, “What the hell??!!” But then when I Googled it I realised that people had been talking about it for maybe a month or more. I guess we’re out of the loop… But at least we’re not crazy.

  2. I’d just like to say this movie was great. It definitely had its Fear and Loathing references, which were nice, but Rango is not quite Hunter S. Thompson, although he was certainly influenced by him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: