For years now, our humble little village known as El World has heard whispers of the return of Zorro, the masked vigilante who would sweep in to once more buckle the swashes of our wastelands, be they postapocalyptic or the USA Network. But while the Gael Garcia Bernal-starring Zorro Reborn and USA’s “modern-day Los Angeles” retelling have yet to arrive, leaving our reboot fields dusty and sere, Deadline swears that Zorro will soon ride again at Sony, which has long been hoping to revive the franchise it launched with Antonio Banderas. And we may all sleep soundly knowing that, when he returns, Zorro will have none of Banderas’ very mid-’00s, dashing, fleet-footed charm, but will instead be a huge downer—the better to match wits with today’s tyrannical landowners and government officials, who are by now too inured by constant criticism to be humiliated by some mustachioed daredevil.
To that end, Sony has hired playwright Chris Boal to write a “Dark Knight-style” Zorro origin story, one with the “gritty realism and emotional core” that can save us villagers from having the sort of escapist fun that only distracts us, and next thing you know all our cattle are gone. Boal’s qualifications include being “a competitive fencer on the national circuit,” making him well-suited to writing words like: “[Zorro swings his sword around in a grim and compulsory way, thinking always of the terrible responsibilities he has assumed.]” And there will also be “daggers, grappling, and brass knuckles,” because realism.
Giving Zorro the Christopher Nolan treatment has a certain irony, of course, seeing as Zorro himself was the inspiration for Batman, a character that took the idea of a wealthy playboy donning a mask and fighting for justice, then gave it a much darker, more depressing spin. So in a way, a Batman-influenced Zorro is just coming full circle—like the black spirals of despair this new Zorro will presumably carve into things, rather than his old-fashioned, naively triumphant “Z.” And we villagers shall see this symbol and know that Zorro has saved us again, then feel incredibly guilty about the emotional toll it must have taken on him.