If you’re memory is any good then you probably haven’t forgotten about the previously-reported Z from director Jonas Cuaron. That film has a far different vision based on the classic pulp hero, “Zorro”, than what Disney Branded Television now has in store and time will tell if that project ever gets off the ground.
As for the latest, leave it to actor Wilmer Valderrama (That 70’s Show, Disney’s Encanto, NCIS) who is set to shepherd a new reimagined incarnation for the studio. The new action adventure western episodic will center on Valderrama as Don Diego de la Vega and his swashbuckling alter ego, the masked vigilante himself. Valderrama will also exec produce alongside DBTV’s outgoing president and chief creative officer, Gary Marsh, and Zorro Productions Inc.’s John Gertz (“The Mask of Zorro,” “The Legend of Zorro”).
Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television, said, “We’re reimagining this Disney classic as a compelling period piece, set in Pueblo de Los Angeles, but told in a very modern telenovela style – with richly drawn contemporary characters and relationships set against the action, drama, suspense and humor of the original, iconic Zorro.” She continued, “Wilmer shares our commitment to reflect the interesting and rich diversity of the human experience and we look forward to delivering a culturally relevant and entertaining story with definitional characters that will connect with our viewers for generations to come.”
“Growing up, Zorro was the one character that made me, as a Latino, feel like I could be a hero. As an adult and a storyteller, I have a responsibility in the stories that I help bring to life. To partner with Gary and Disney to bring Zorro back into the family after 60 years and be a part of the legacy for other children to know they too can be the heroes of their own stories is a dream come true,” said Valderrama.
Set in early California, the classic “Zorro” TV series followed a masked avenger, the alter ego of the mild-mannered Don Diego de la Vega, as he defended the poor and acted as the scourge of military tyrants on his black stallion, Tornado. Zorro’s trademark was the ragged “Z” symbol, which he slashed with his sword. A total of 78 original episodes aired from 1957 to 1959. Four hour-long episodes were later filmed for airing on the Sunday night Disney television show, and episodes of the half-hour show were compiled into the theatrical features The Sign of Zorro and Zorro the Avenger.
Valderrama is represented by UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment.