Hollywood has been trying to reboot the Zorro franchise for a few years now, and it looks like things are heating up for the project once again. Two years ago, a futuristic reboot called Zorro Reborn was planned at 20th Century Fox that would have painted the titular character as more of a vigilante than a hero. Gael Garcia Bernal was poised to star, but the film never materialized. Now there’s movement on a new adaptation of the character, as Sony is gearing up to start work on a Zorro film described as a “gritty” reboot of the swashbuckler. Hit the jump for more.
Per Deadline, Sony has hired playwright Chris Boal to pen the script for a Zorro reboot. The goal of this new film is to make a movie that ditches the traditional swashbuckler tone in favor of “more of a Dark Knight-style unveiling of the character with a new backstory, gritty realism, and emotional core.” The report notes that the film will incorporate swordplay with “the martial arts that came from Europe and created a deadly combination of action and lethal fighting systems that combined swords, daggers, grappling, and bare knuckles.”
Sony first hired Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia to write the Zorro reboot in late 2011, but that film never progressed past the script stage. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald—who are also producing the Men in Black reboot for Sony—are producing this new reboot, and now that a new writer has been set, this thing can start moving closer to fruition.
The most recent incarnation of Zorro on the big screen was director Martin Campbell’s excellent 1998 film The Mask of Zorro and its 2005 sequel The Legend of Zorro. Both movies starred Antonio Banderas as the titular hero and served as thrilling action-adventure throwbacks, mixing in plenty of swordplay and one-liners while steering clear of unintentional comedy. I’m not convinced that “gritty realism” is what the Zorro franchise needs (would it kill us to have some fun with a traditional action-adventure film?), but I guess that’s what Sony has in mind for the Zorro franchise—assuming this iteration finally gets off the ground.