Zorro, the iconic character created by Johnston McCulley in 1919, has always been an American property about a Mexican character named Don Diego de la Vega- who dons a mask and fights crime. Over the years, we’ve seen him played by Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Power, Frank Langella, and Anthony Hopkins. Notice a trend? The Hopkins film (THE MASK OF ZORRO), where he played a retired version of the character who passes the torch to Antonio Banderas’s Alejandro Murrieta, attempted to hand the role to an actor more befitting the role. But even that flick was written and directed by guys who were decidedly non-latino (Martin Campbell, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, and John Eskow).
Well, that won’t be the case with the reboot, Z.
Deadline is reporting that Mexican filmmaker Jonas CuarÃ³n, who announced the film in Berlin earlier this year, has cast Gael GarcÃa Bernal as the titular hero. CuarÃ³n, son of director Alfonso CuarÃ³n, is writing and directing the project. Adding to the more authentic nature of this decidedly more latino relaunch of the character is the fact that it’ll be filming at the Pinewood Dominican Republic studios.
Mark Amin, a producer on the film, commented on the casting of Bernal in Z:
“I have always loved Gael for this role. Zorro is a hero who is charming, witty and clever. Gael possesses all those characteristic and heâ€™s able to deliver them with a modern spin to introduce the Zorro character to a new audience.”
Also of note, in an age where Hollywood typically likes to cast younger actors because they want to see them endure over the course of sequels, is the fact that Garcia is no spring chicken. He’s 37, which isn’t old by any stretch, but it’s just another example of how this reboot is bucking several trends.
What do you think? Excited about Z? Think Bernal is a good choice to play Don Diego de la Vega? Discuss!