Dwight Yoakam was slated to play the part of the villain in the upcoming film 'The Lone Ranger,' but he has just walked away from the role due to conflicts in his schedule. The film -- which has a celebrity cast of Johnny Depp as the American Indian Tonto, Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger and Tom Wilkinson as the evil railroad tycoon Latham Cole -- will still go on without him.

In Yoakam's absence, actor William Fichtner ('Armageddon,' 'Pearl Harbor,' 'The Perfect Storm,' 'Crash') will step up and fill his villainous shoes. The movie is set to begin filming next week under the watchful eye of director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. As of now, the release date is expected to be somewhere around May 2013.

And while Yoakam is stepping out of this role, he's not stepping away from film appearances altogether. In fact, he's teaming up with his 'Sling Blade' co-star Billy Bob Thornton for a new film, a screenplay Thornton wrote about veterans of World War II. Thornton also wrote 'Sling Blade,' which won him a 1996 Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Outside of his acting career, Yoakam has come back to Warner Music Group in Nashville, where he's supposedly working on a new record that should be coming out this year.

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