It appears that the original masked avenger could be headed back to the big screen, as Sony is reportedly in talks with horror director, Fede Alvarez, to reboot the Zorro franchise. According to a new rumor first posted by The Illuminerdi, as well as building their own superhero universe around the Marvel characters they currently hold the rights to, Sony is interested in branching out with one of the first ever men in a mask to fight for good.
Zorro is no stranger to both the big and small screen, having appeared in many cliffhanger serials between the 1930s and 1940s, through to the big budget movies of the late 90s and 2000s. With a legacy stretching back over 100 years, Zorro is one of the most iconic creations of the 1910s, predating superheroes such as Batman and Superman as a role model for youngsters, with an instantly recognizable appearance and logo that has endured through a century of many other popular fictional heroes.
The character of Zorro was originally created in 1919 by Johnston McCulley, making his first appearances in a number of short stories and novels set around the Spanish California era in the late 18th century. While he doesn't have the super hero abilities of modern superheroes, he has a vast wealth and phenomenal sword fighting skills, and strives to avenge the oppressed and take vengeance on those taking advantage of the disadvantaged. Like Batman, Zorro's fearless persona is regularly hidden behind a regular façade, in this case the seemingly cowardly Don Diego de la Vega, the son of California's wealthiest landowner.
Zorro's first outing in print was the story The Curse of Capistrano, which arrived in five serialized installments in 1919. The story, which was later published as a single novel, was meant to be a one off tale, but after United Artists adapted it as The Mark of Zorro, the first picture made by the studio in 1920, the character was an instant hit with cinema audiences in the relatively new era of movie pictures. The Mask of Zorro in 1998, starring Antonio Banderas - who would also voice Puss in Boots in the Shrek franchise, a character who was essentially a feline version of Zorro - Catherine Zeta Jones and Anthony Hopkins, was a reboot of the franchise and was followed in 2005 by The Legend of Zorro. The new reboot will be the first time Zorro has been seen on screen since.
The new reboot is believed to be based on the original novel featuring Zorro, which has also been published under the title of The Mark of Zorro and is noted as one of the biggest selling novels of all time having shifted over 50 million copies. Alvarez is currently best known for helming the newest remake of the Evil Dead, as well as Don't Breathe. He has also had a history with action movies such as The Girl In The Spider's Web, but he was also said to have turned down the option of working with Marvel due to the lack of creative freedom he would be granted working on an MCU film.
While some would question the director's credentials for a movie to a franchise like Zorro, there are many other directors who have started out in horror such as Sam Raimi, who began his career with the Evil Dead before making the likes of Spider-Man and the new Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness. There would be something of a poetic parallel if Alvarez did follow in Raimi's footsteps, going from the gore of the Evil Dead to the original mask-wearing superhero of Zorro. We will watch this one with interest as news develops. This news comes to us from The Illuminerdi.