Big-screen villains beware — Zorro is returning to theaters.
The masked, rapier-wielding pulp hero will be the subject of an upcoming film to be written and directed by Gravity screenwriter Jonás Cuarón. Titled Z, the project was announced by Lantica Media and Sobini Films this week.
The son of Oscar-winning filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón co-wrote Gravity with his father and made his feature directorial debut with 2007’s Year of the Nail. His upcoming thriller Desierto, which he co-wrote and directed, has already generated quite a bit of buzz ahead of its March release and is credited with earning him the attention of the Zorro producers.
“When I saw Desierto, I was impressed with Jonás’ command of action and suspense, his great visual eye, and the strong performances he elicited from his actors,” said Sobini Films CEO Mark Amin in a statement accompanying the announcement.
Initially conceived as a post-apocalyptic adventure inspired by the legend of Zorro, the swashbuckling hero created by author Johnston McCulley in 1919, the project was originally developed under the title Zorro Reborn but was delayed for quite a few years before being effectively scrapped. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is being rewritten by Cuarón and is expected to drop the “post-apocalyptic” element in favor of a near-future setting for its tale of a mysterious, masked hero who fights for the people against oppressive tyrants.
Mozart in the Jungle actor Gael García Bernal was initially attached to star in Zorro Reborn, but it’s unknown whether he’s still in the mix for Cuarón’s Z. Bernal starred in Cuarón’s Desierto, so there’s some precedent for the pair to team up.
“We are very fortunate to have Jonás on this film,” said Lantica Media CEO Antonio Gennari. “His love of cinema is evident in his work and he is very talented in his ability to tell a compelling story. We look forward to seeing where his vision will take us.”
Shooting is expected to begin on Z this summer.