Zorro, the legendary outlaw who defends the common people against oppression and exploitation, is coming back to the big screen, though probably not as you expect him. Traditionally clad in a black mask and cape, wielding his razor-sharp sword in the old west, now the character is getting a post-apocalyptic makeover in Zorro Reborn.
The star of countless novels, comics, movies, and serials, according to The Hollywood Reporter, this futuristic interpretation of the character will be the partnership of Lantica Media and Sobini Films. While this promises to be a new setting and era for the pulp hero, who first appeared back in 1919, there will be definite thematic parallels between this incarnation and the source material.
Zorro, originally the secret alter ego of wealthy California nobleman Don Diego de la Vega, is a kind of Robin Hood-esque figure who defends peasants against corrupt officials in a frontier western setting, especially against brutal officials in Spanish-controlled California. Though Zorro Reborn takes place in the future, they plan to maintain this idea of a dashing, masked vigilante battling tyrants and oppressors for the good of the people.
Post-apocalyptic stories often take the form of modernized westerns, so this actually seems like a pretty decent fit for the material. Instead of tussling with corrupt government officials, he can take on warlords in some neo-western frontier town who terrorize the people just trying to survive in this harsh, hostile new environment.
Zorro Reborn is not a new project by any stretch of the imagination, but this is the first major step that has been taken in some time. Once established over at 20th Century Fox, there have been a number of big names involved in various capacities over the years, including X-Men mastermind Bryan Singer, Star Wars player Gary Whitta, and The Jungle Book writer Justin Marks, to name a few.
Right now, this is in the very early stages, as there are currently no writers or directors attached, though the producers do appear to be very passionate about the project. They aim to bring the character of Zorro to a new generation, and this will continue and almost century long presence in popular culture. To run through the character’s history is a fool’s errand, but he has appeared in just about every capacity you can imagine. He began in books, but has also been the subject of film and radio serials, TV shows, comics, and stage productions. His big screen canon includes movies from the U.S., Mexico, and Europe, and he has been portrayed by a variety of famous actors, including Douglas Fairbanks, Anthony Hopkins, and Antonio Banderas, among many others.
I will watch anything post-apocalyptic, so you can bet Zorro Reborn is something we’ll be keeping an eye on as it develops.