In today’s day and age, movie franchise reboots are a dime a dozen. Some successfully introduce characters to a new generation, while the rest go back on the shelf and await their next reboot. Zorro was one of those characters, after coming back from the dead in 1998’s The Mask of Zorro, starring Antonio Banderas in the titular role, and its sequel, 2005’s The Legend of Zorro. The first film grossed $250 million worldwide and earned an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. The follow-up made only $142 million and fared far worse with critics, landing a sad 26%.
Thus, the franchise was put aside and placed on Sony’s reboot list, though it apparently has been a priority “for some time.” Now that it’s been nearly ten years since Zorro was last in theaters, the studio is moving forward with the reboot and has hired Chris Boal to pen the screenplay. Boal is relatively new to the business, though a few of his scripts are currently being produced. He adapted the sci-fi novel Old Man’s War for Paramount and wrote two pics for Warner Bros.: the viking film Vanguard and Caesar.
The most interesting thing about Deadline’s report is their claim that Boal was a competitive fencer on the national circuit before becoming a writer. So, he’ll hopefully be able to write some interesting fight sequences, something Zorro will need if it hopes to stand out amongst the other action-heavy film franchises that are currently overfilling our cineplexes.
Sony is apparently leaving Zorro’s swashbuckler roots behind and instead going for a more of a Dark Knight influence with the reboot. They’re unveiling a new backstory, “gritty realism,” and a emotional core. If I only had a dime for each time a studio used The Dark Knight as a selling point for their reboots…
That being said, Zorro does share a few attributes with Batman, so the comparison isn’t too far off base, and it could definitely work if executed properly. Rest assured though, this will still be a Zorro film, utilizing a “deadly combination of action and lethal fighting systems that combine swords, daggers, grappling, and bare knuckles.”
The film still has no director or projected release date, but it is being produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who Deadline says are also overseeing Sony’s Men In Black reboot (let me guess… it’ll be dark and gritty?!)
We’ll keep you posted on any further updates as production progresses. In the meantime, let us know, are you excited to see a new Zorro franchise? Or is this character too dated and past his prime (a la The Lone Ranger) for today’s audiences? Sound off in the comments below!