Fox announced their intentions to reboot the character of Zorro in late April, with this go-around’s hook being a post-apocalyptic setting. That’s all we’ve heard since — but if they’re still doing it, they might want to get moving on it soon: Deadline says that Sony has hired screenwriters for their own restart of the character, with Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia being given the task of adapting the novel Zorro by Isabel Allende.
Taking a gander at the novel’s plot description gives me the impression that this won’t be doing things too differently with the character — he trains with a sword, begins to use it as a method of doling out justice, and attains revenge from an enemy. I don’t necessarily see this as being awful or anything; probably just more of the same.
The hiring of these screenwriters feels at least a little unexpected, given that they haven’t actually collaborated on any completed features; their only screenplay is the Teddy Roosevelt-centered River of Doubt, and that hasn’t even been made yet. Otherwise, essentially all of their work involves writing for shows such as Jericho and Human Target; they’re also supervising producers on the new Charlie’s Angels, but that credit might not be current for very long.
When it comes to a big-budget film about a popular character, I don’t put much stock into who they are or what they’ve been seen in before — I just want a good movie. Although the Fox version has something of an advantage for me because of its different take on the character, it’s all about execution. With all that in mind, it’s far too early to make a real judgement on how this might turn out; it could be great, it could be terrible. I like to think that we’re all hoping for the former.
Here’s a synopsis of the novel (via Amazon):
“Born Diego de la Vega in 1795 to the valiant hidalgo, Alejandro, and the beautiful Regina, the daughter of a Spanish deserter and an Indian shaman, our hero grows up in California before traveling to Spain. Raised alongside his wet nurse’s son, Bernardo, Diego becomes friends for life with his “milk brother,” despite the boys’ class differences. Though born into privilege, Diego has deep ties to California’s exploited natives—both through blood and friendship—that account for his abiding sense of justice and identification with the underdog. In Catalonia, these instincts as well as Diego’s swordsmanship intrigue Manuel Escalante, a member of the secret society La Justicia. Escalante recruits Diego into the society, which is dedicated to fighting all forms of oppression, and thus begins Diego’s construction of his dashing, secret alter ego, Zorro. With loyal Bernardo at his side, Zorro hones his fantastic skills, evolves into a noble hero and returns to California to reclaim his family’s estate in a breathtaking duel. All the while, he encounters numerous historical figures[.]“
Would you want to see another Zorro reboot?
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