Legendary masked crusader, Zorro, is returning to screens courtesy of director Robert Rodriguez and his sister, Doom Patrol and Snowpiercer director Rebecca Rodriguez, but with a twist. NBC is currently working on a TV series based on the swashbuckling hero, with the studio planning to give Zorro a contemporary spin, gender-swapping the character to create a female-led take on the classic myth.
The Zorro series will center on Sola Dominguez, "an underground artist who fights for social injustice as a contemporary version of the mythical Zorro. Her life is threatened by several criminal organizations after she exposes them."
Zorro will be co-produced by CBS Studios and Universal TV and will be part of a first-look deal between CBS and Propagate. The project will be co-written by Sin City and Alita: Battle Angel director Robert Rodriguez, whose small screen ventures include the hit Disney+ series The Mandalorian and the upcoming superhero series We Can Be Heroes. Rodriguez is writing Zorro alongside his sister Rebecca, with the sibling pair also on board as executive producers alongside Modern Family star Sofia Vergara as well as Ben Silverman, Rodney Ferrell, Greg Lipstone and Jay Weisleder for Propagate, Luis Balaguer for LatinWe, Geoff Clark, Eric Bromberg, and John Gertz.
The studio has been wanting to bring this updated take on [Zorro} for some time, with a project titled Z almost making it to screens. Written by Magnum PI's Alfredo Barrios Jr., the script followed Z, a female descendant of the warrior bloodline who will go to great lengths to protect the defenceless in her community.
This is also far from the first time that Robert Rodriguez has been attached to the character of Zorro, with the director initially set to direct the 1998 movie adaptation of The Mask of Zorro starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, and Catherine Zeta Jones. The movie charts the journey of the original Zorro, Don Diego de la Vega, who escapes from prison to find his long-lost daughter and avenge the death of his wife at the hands of the corrupt governor Rafael Montero. He is aided by his successor, Alejandro Murrieta, who is pursuing his own vendetta against the governor's right-hand man, and ultimately takes up the sword-fighting mantle.
Rodriguez, in fact, was the one to cast Banderas in the titular role before departing the project. Casino Royale's Martin Campbell went on to helm the highly praised adaptation instead.
Originally created in 1919 by American pulp writer Johnston McCulley, Zorro is typically depicted as a dashing, occasionally moustachioed, masked vigilante who defends the common folk and indigenous peoples of California against corrupt and tyrannical officials and other villains. His signature look is an all-black costume that includes a black cape, hat and domino mask, along with a razor-sharp rapier with which he despatches evil doers before leaving his signature, a 'Z', carved on whatever he fancies, often his defeated foes themselves. It's essentially olden day graffiti that the hero leaves to sign his work. The character has since gone on to inspire several other prominent vigilantes, including DC icon Batman, with Zorro often being the movie that Bruce Wayne saw with his parents before they were gunned down.
Are you interested in what the Rodriguez siblings can bring to the Zorro lore in this gender-swapped series? This comes to us from Deadline.