Fox's plans to produce a post-apocalyptic spin on the masked vigilante Zorro, titled Zorro Reborn, has prompted a lot of eyebrow raising and/or eye rolling so far. That immediate skepticism subsided somewhat a few weeks back, when acclaimed character actor Gael Garcia Bernal was tapped to portray a futuristic version of the eponymous warrior.
Today we can report on another interesting development in the Zorro reboot's journey to the big screen: the current front-runner to direct the feature is Peruvian filmmaker Ricardo de Montreuil, a fellow who gained a lot of notice around Tinseltown thanks to his 2010 short titled "The Raven."
Variety says that Montreuil is slated to direct a screen test with Bernal (who the site refers to as the "likely star" of Zorro Reborn) but there is not yet an official deal in place for him to helm the actual movie. Assuming studio heads approve of what Montreuil and Bernal come up with, of course, that could change very quickly.
Montreuil has previously directed two feature-length, foreign-language films: the risque dramas La mujer de mi hermano and Máncora, the latter of which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in World Cinema at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. As mentioned before, Montreuil broke onto the Hollywood scene with "The Raven," a 6-minute long sci-fi/thriller which Universal is now adapting into a full-length motion picture.
You can have a look at Montreuil's original "Raven" short below:
Based on Montreuil's work in "The Raven," you can already start to see why Fox would consider him a prime candidate to direct a thrilling sci-fi variation on the Zorro mythos which plot-wise "has echoes of both Sergio Leone and 'No Country for Old Men'" and takes place against a devastated futuristic backdrop. Montreuil's experience crafting solid visual effects and action sequences, while constricted by a small budget, is only icing on the cake.
The most recent draft of the Zorro Reborn script was likewise penned by up-and-coming talent, in the forms of Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman, the screenwriters behind the upcoming Dracula re-imagining, Harker. Similar to Montreuil, the pair stand to better prove their worth as cinematic storytellers on this new project - the trio's involvement alone is reason enough to remain interested in seeing what comes of all this Zorro franchise rebooting business (for now).
Expect to hear more about Zorro Reborn in the upcoming months.