The ‘Zorro’ Reboot Will Probably Make Us Sad

Zorro, our favorite California crime-fighter from the 1800s is coming back in a big way (for the people!) Let’s talk about it.

The Mask of Zorro has always been my favorite adventure movie, even ahead of A Knight’s Tale. Speaking of Heath Ledger, this new reboot—that is actually happening—is planned to emulate a certain franchise the late (and great) Heath Ledger himself elevated: The Dark Knight.

That’s right, the new Zorro is planned to be leaner, grittier and emotional—er. I’m not really sure why.

Because amidst of all of the quasi-realistic adaptations of famous costumed crime-fighters, few have actually been well-received. Yes, Man of Steel was a hit financially, but the cultural significance of the Marvel movies proved to us that you don’t need gritty storytelling to tell a good story.

What worries me is that we’re losing the campy fun and swashbuckling adventure that made me (and many of you) fall in love with Zorro when we were kids. After watching Banderas don the mask twice, I became entranced with the old Zorro movies because it was a proper homage, but what will a “serious” reboot pay tribute to for the next generation?

But we don’t have to be overly negative. There are two primary possibilities: this will either be akin to Batman Begins or Man of Steel.

In other words, it’s either going to be good or just decent.

In the case of Batman Begins, the writers found a great way to shift the dramatic narrative associated with Batman, who is frequently portrayed as a serious character in a goofy world. To put it another way, we got the Batman we deserved.

Then they tried the same thing with Superman, which followed the same basic formula. It was liberal with the story arc, had beards and tried to be as intense as possible, but it didn’t work quite as well. We left theaters feeling underwhelmed, and I’m honestly not sure why.

And that’s my honest fear about what they’re planning to do for Zorro, a character I actually cherish above Superman and Batman (don’t yell at me).

Of course, this won’t be the only iteration of Zorro vying for our attention. You may have also heard about another movie coming out called Zorro Reborn, a sci-fi remix of the original character that plants the Fox in a post-apocalyptic world. I know, but let’s just give it a chance.

What do you think? To reboot or not to reboot? Let me know with a passive aggressive Tweet or comment.

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15 thoughts

  1. I was 10 when Mask of Zorro came out, and for years I would pretend to be Zorro. Not Batman, Zorro. . . As for the post-apocalyptic Zorro, I’ve been playing Fallout 3 lately, so that genre is really appealing to me right now. I’d give that Zorro a chance. I don’t think they should make the other, gritty reboot. It’s like when they remake Fright Night and took out all the campy goodness that made the original so amazing.

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  2. Yeah I’m sick to death of all the remakes, sequels, prequels. This isn’t necessary or needed. Create new material, lazy peeps in lala land…. Good write up

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  3. The Mask of Zorro was fun, but my absolute favorite was The Mark of Zorro. It was made in 1940, in black and white, and stars Tyrone Power – who is a fun, playful Zorro.

    I can’t imagine a Zorro that’s isn’t fun or a little campy – I mean, he leaves a “z” everywhere, how serious could he be? I guess that we’ll have to wait and see what happens when Hollywood makes another fun film serious (still annoyed that they made James Bond more like Jason Bourne). Where has all the fun gone?

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  4. Banderas’ version is spectacular, and will be difficult to follow. My dad saw it five or six times in the theater. Given how many iterations of Zorro there already are, I’m not surprised a new version is being shopped around. Zorro is a fun, swashbuckling mix of superheros and the old west. The key, however, is to have fun. I hope the filmmakers realize that.

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    1. Hello L. Palmer,

      I agree that the Banderas version is spectacular! Here’s a Kickstarter project that is raising funds to produce an officially licensed movie poster for The Mask of Zorro:

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  5. I say ‘not to reboot!’
    Banderas will always be Zorro to me, and no one can replace that!
    Besides, most remakes end up going wrong. They don’t do the originals justice.
    Let the new generations (which aren’t far below me, might I add), deal with the quality and value of the movies ‘way-back-when’ and receive a little culture in how “moving pictures” have developed and grown.

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  6. Thanks John. The Mask of Zorro is a great story – yes a little contrived and campy in places, but has that fantastic quality of many story threads being developed intelligently and then coming together in a giant simultaneous climax that makes it a winner. I have always been a huge fan of Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and I don’t want anything to try and ‘improve upon’ the 1998 fim

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