New Writer For Zorro Reboot

Chris Boal will swashbuckle the screenplay

Zorro 1957

A new Zorro has been developing for a long time at Sony. Antonio Banderas last donned the black hat for Martin Campbell back in 2005, and a reboot has been in the works pretty much ever since. There are still no director or star attached, but this morning we do finally at least have news of a writer. Chris Boal will pen the latest draft, with a view to introducing the masked swordsman to a new generation.

Christopher Stetson Boal, to give him his full moniker, hasn't had any films released so far, but has written an untitled Julius Caesar film for Jonathan Liebesman, and Viking actioner The Vanguard, which has Alexander Skarsgard attached to star. Before the writing he was a competitive fencer on the US national circuit, so he knows how to swash a buckle, and could presumably carve an expert Z into your clothing if you asked him nicely.

The new Zorro is thought to be less along the lines of its sun-soaked, heroic predecessors, and more (yawn) akin to Christopher Nolan's Batman films, going "darker" and tweaking Zorro's origin.

Back in 2012 there were reports that the film would be taking Isabelle Allende's 2005 novel (simply called Zorro) as its basis. If that's the case then the film should give us a Zorro who's the son of a Spaniard and a Shoshone Indian. He grows up in late 18th century Southern California, hating the injustice meted out to the Native Americans. Following the example of his fencing master, he joins a secret movement formed to help the oppressed.

This is not to be confused with a rival project developing at Fox. That one's set in the future and called Zorro Reborn, and at one point had Gael Garcia Bernal attached to star. We haven't heard much about it since 2012, however, so its current status is uncertain.

The producers for Sony's version are Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald (Gladiator, Men In Black). Production still seems some way off.