In the years since placing himself firmly on the martial arts action fandom radar with Ernesto Diaz Espinoza’s 2006 debut, Kiltro, one fact remains is that fans can’t get enough of Marko Zaror.
It’s been fifteen years since then, with the two having already done three movies together with the latest being monastic action thriller, Redeemer (2014), and now they’re back together once again with the wheels turning for the new digital series, El Puño Del Condor (The Fist Of The Condor), which is currently in production in Chile.
Extenuating plot and story details are under wraps for the series, but what I can report is that the crux of the series deals with martial artists from around the world, all in search of a book containing ancient secrets on overcoming the limits of the human body. That book and its very knowledge is protected by its most impenetrable gatekeeper, the chosen guardian himself portrayed by Zaror.
“I developed a style and techinque for the Condor with a mix of animalistic flow and acrobatics.” says Zaror, who describes the project as a lifelong and personal one.
The concept overall was also birthed together with Espinoza using Zaror’s own documents on nutrition and training and real life methods of maintenance, something that’s been intergral for Zaror over the years as an entrepreneur, since launching his own health drink brand, Ki-Way, in 2010.
The actor also credits filmmaker Robert Rodriguez who directed Zaror on a few occasions, including Machete Kills, From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series, and briefly on Alita: Battle Angel.
“Rodríguez always say that you have to co-create your oportunities and reality.” says Zaror. “He is been a big inspiration on thinking outside of the box.”
Imaginably, the same can be perceived for Puerto Rican actor and martial artist José Manuel, whose own travails have landed him on both sides of the independent lens with projects like Andres Ramirez’s El Testigo, 2014 shortfilm Retribution, Jarod Crook’s Indie Guys and Pema Dhondup’s 2019 thriller, The Man From Kathmandu.
Flying in late last month to Chile, Manuel proudly adds working with Zaror and Espinoza to his list of hopeful milestones with El Puño Del Condor, starring as the outstanding disciple of a school familiar with the guardian’s past.
“I can humbly say that Marko, for me, is like a big brother.” says Manuel, who credited the action star for pushing his boundaries as a martial artist, formidably resulting in a cinematic moment Manuel has long dreamt for.
“He’s the closest thing I’ve seen to Bruce Lee in all my life. He treated me like his student, and I was more than willing to see him as my master.” he says. “It will be a fight scene for the ages, because it fleshes out the best of both Marko and I.”
“All I can say is that I’ve seen on dailies is wholly on another level.” Zaror added. “I’m positive martial artist from around the world, and fans will be amazed.”
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Several behind the scenes photos and videos have surfaced via Zaror’s Instagram with the action star on their Covid-safe set with Manuel, and with Espinoza who is writing and directing the series. Production is currently expected to wrap early next year.
Follow the updates over at the official Instagram page!