Wilmer Valderrama Is Set To Star In An Exciting New Disney Show, But What About NCIS?

Torres running down the street on NCIS
(Image credit: CBS)

For four seasons now (give or take a few episodes), former That '70s Show star Wilmer Valderrama has shown off some occasional badassery as Nick Torres on CBS' stalwart hit NCIS. His career certainly hasn’t slowed down outside of the procedural drama, as his current voice role in Disney’s box office smash Encanto can attest, but only in ways that clearly wouldn’t affect his time on NCIS. But now, Valderrama has been revealed to be reteaming with Disney to star in a very interesting new project that will no doubt take up a lot of his time, while also showing off more of that badassery.

Wilmer Valderrama is working with Disney Branded Television on developing a newly reimagined take on the classic western action-adventure Zorro. He will serve as the new project’s star and executive producer, so this is clearly more than just a passing interest for the fan-beloved actor, whose love for the titular hero goes way back.

In fact, here’s how Valderrama explained his passion for a new Zorro series:

Growing up, Zorro was the one character that made me, as a Latino, feel like I could be a hero. As an adult and a storyteller, I have a responsibility in the stories that I help bring to life. To partner with Gary and Disney to bring Zorro back into the family after 60 years and be a part of the legacy for other children to know they too can be the heroes of their own stories is a dream come true.

At this point, it’s unclear if or how Zorro could affect Wilmer Valderrama’s work on NCIS. While he is currently developing other projects as an EP behind the scenes, this will be the first time he’s set to take on a full starring role in a new project outside of the CBS drama. And while there are certainly ways to make it happen without Nick Torres being written off of the show, that’s more of a possibility now than ever. If Mark Harmon can walk away, anybody can. 

That said, fans of the show shouldn't get too worried just yet. Torres is a core part of the NCIS crew at this point, and Wilmer Valderrama has been very vocal about loving his time on the show, while also always quick to show appreciation to the fanbase. And as far as the narrative goes, there are no clear signs that Torres is heading in any direction other than "after the bad guys." So while that could obviously change in a moment's notice, that moment has yet to arrive. 

It's also unclear where this new Zorro project will end up, assuming it comes to fruition as a full-blown series. (Let's not forget about Hollywood's relatively recent attempt to bring Zorro back as a theatrical release.) Will Disney want to play up Valderrama's network TV recognition by putting it on ABC, or will they want to offer up something less rigidly crafted as a streaming drama for Disney+? Or will it somehow become a preschooler animated series for Disney Jr.? Probably not the last one, but stranger things have happened. 

Keep watching Wilmer Valderrama on NCIS (while you still can) when it returns to CBS after its winter hiatus on Monday, January 3, at 9:00 p.m. ET. While you're waiting, check out everything else coming to the small screen next year with our 2022 TV premiere schedule, and go check out Valderrama's voice-acting skills in Encanto!

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.