20th Century Fox has finally settled on its lead in their upcoming Zorro reboot Zorro Reborn. Variety reports that Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) is attached to play the Spanish swordsman. The film is a fresh take on material that was most recently mined in Martin Campbell’s The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro. As we previously reported, Zorro Reborn will not take place in the classic Western setting of Mexico or California, but will instead be set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Moreover, Zorro will be less of a hero this time around, as the story paints the character as “a masked vigilante bent on revenge.”
Bernal is an excellent actor and, I think, a nice choice to play Zorro. I’m not necessarily thrilled with the “futuristic” take on the story as I think Bernal would be swell in a classic swashbuckling flick, but Fox apparently has other plans. Sony is developing its own reboot of the character with an origin story based on the 2005 novel Zorro. The script for Zorro Reborn was written by Glenn Gers (Mad Money), and Harker scribes Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy. Producers are currently seeking out a director for the project. Bernal will next be seen alongside Will Ferrell in the Spanish-language comedy Casa de mi Padre.
Things seem to be moving forward for the Zorro reboot. Just last week we reported that Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia (Human Target, Charlie’s Angels TV series) had been hired to pen the screenplay for the film, and now it looks like it has a title. What Culture reports that Sony has registered a number of domains related to the masked vigilante, using the titles The Forging of Zorro and Zorro: The Legend Begins. It sure sounds like the title of the film will end up being one of these, but they essentially get the same message across: this is Zorro Begins. The origin pic will be based on the 2005 Isabel Allende novel Zorro, which centers on the young Zorro who witnesses the brutal injustices dealt to Native Americans. The young man then becomes a pupil of a fencing master and joins a secret underground resistance movement, paving the way for his new dual identity.
It’s unlikely that this new film will have anything to do with the stellar Antonio Banderas films The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of Allende’s novel.
The closest thing we’ve had to Zorro since 2005’s The Legend of Zorro, with Antonio Banderas, is the upcoming Puss in Boots (with an animated Antonio Banderas). In this, the Golden Age of reboots, comes another tale of the masked swordsman via the pens of Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia. This retelling of Zorro’s origin will be based on the eponymous 2005 novel written by Isabel Allende.
Federman and Scaia are well known for their work in television, scripting and producing such series as Jericho, Warehouse 13 and Human Target. They’re currently overseeing the new Charlie’s Angels series as supervising producers. Zorro will be the duo’s second film adaptation, having just completed River of Doubt, an account of Teddy Roosevelt’s 1914 journey down the Amazon River.
Hit the jump for more on Zorro, including the synopsis of the novel.
A large part of Zorro’s charm is his old-fashioned adventuring ways. He’s a pulp hero who’s instantly recognizable for his mask, cape, and swordsmanship. 20th Century Fox would like to strip all that crap away and send him to the a post-apocalyptic wasteland. 24 Frames reports that the studio is in early development on Zorro Reborn. This time around, Zorro “will be less a caped crusader for justice than a one-man vigilante force bent on revenge, in a western story that has echoes of both Sergio Leone and No Country for Old Men.” Good, because I haven’t seen a movie before where a one-man vigilante force roams the post-apocalyptic wasteland before. Wait—sorry, I have actually seen that—many times. But in all fairness, the vigilante wasn’t named Zorro.
Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy, the screenwriters behind the Dracula re-imagining Harker wrote the script and pre-visualization specialist Rpin Suwannath (The Matrix) will make his directing debut on the flick. (For those who don’t know, pre-viz is way of creating motion storyboards that can better illustrated the flow of a scene) Hit the jump for more of my thoughts on Zorro Reborn.
Any serious fan of Walt Disney and his films who owns a DVD player should be aware of the Walt Disney Treasures series by now. If not, you are truly missing out. The Walt Disney Treasures DVD sets are 2-disc Limited Editions presenting rare Disney shows along with bonus features that go into the making and history behind each program. The two new Zorro Treasures releases break the 2-disc rule and include 6 discs in each set, containing the entire series-run, along with plenty of fun extras. I am very glad that the entire seasons are included. It could have been easy for these sets to be released with just a small sampling of each season, staying with the 2-disc formula. Thank you Walt Disney Home Video for not taking the easy way out and giving us the entire run of Walt Disney’s Zorro! More after the jump: