Long before Batman began keeping the streets of Gotham safe, Zorro donned a mask and cape to fight for justice and protect the innocence. In fact, the character - a Spanish aristocrat with a secret identity and a tendency to slash an iconic "Z" as his calling card - served as a significant inspiration for the Dark Knight, which explains why many versions of Batman's origin story have young Bruce Wayne attending a screening of The Mark of Zorro on the fateful night his parents were murdered.
While Batman's future on the big screen is brighter than it's ever been, Zorro has been absent from theaters since The Legend of Zorro failed to live up to expectations back in 2005. Talk of a reboot - albeit one with a futuristic take on the character - has been brewing for a few years, and now it sounds like that project - known as Zorro Reborn - may finally be turning a corner.
According to THR, the project is once again moving forward, thanks to a partnership between Lantica Media and Sobini Films. The former company will finance the movie and plans to begin filming in March 2016, though no anticipated release date has been announced. Sobini CEO Mark Amin - who also worked on the Oscar-winning biopic Frida - will produce the film. A search is underway for a director to helm the project, which is sticking with the previously reported post-apocalyptic take on the mythic Zorro.
At this point, there's no word on whether the new film is still eyeing Gael Garcia Bernal to star in the iconic role. He is roughly the same age as Antonio Banderas was when he first played the character in Martin Campbell's 1998 film The Mask of Zorro, the last film to reinvigorate the property. Bernal could easily be a no-brainer for the role, but with a new team calling the shots on Zorro's rebirth, it's very possible that their vision of the project is very different than what was previously in place over at Fox. Ditto for the previously-set director, Ricardo de Montreuil (The Raven).
Zorro is essentially one of the first masked heroes, and considering how well Marvel and DC are doing with developing a wide variety of their own characters for both film and television, a new version of Zorro is a smart business move, as is the decision to opt for a Dark Knight-style approach (there's that Batman parallel again) to the character. Still, a futuristic/post-apocalyptic slant on the character could alienate fans by betraying the spirit of the original mythos and/or come off across as too derivative of other, similarly themed recent projects to newbies. In any case, it will be interesting to see this one come together.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on Zorro Reborn as this story develops.