The Disney Version Of Zorro To Be Reborn!

Out of the night when the full moon is bright
Comes a horseman known as Zorro
He already gave his mark of Z with his blade
A Z that stands for Zorro

Wilmer Valderrama has been announced as starring in a “reimagining” of Disney’s 1950s series Zorro for, of course, Disney+. He will executive produce alongside Gary Marsh, Chief Creative Officer at Disney Branded Entertainment.

That’s a specific and necessary distinction. Though Sony did a decent job featuring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones in The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro, those were really about the second man to be Zorro, not the original Don Diego de la Vega. (Almost every film and TV revival since Disney’s take — itself not the first adaptation — has been about the legacy, not the original hero.)

Created by Johnston McCulley in 1919’s The Curse of Capistrano for pulp magazine All-Story Weekly, Zorro was heavily influential on the masks and capes of later comics. Disney’s 1950s-era series followed the broad strokes of the character, a half-hour weekly show starring Guy Williams as the dashing and witty Don Diego, donning the mask and brandishing the sword to bring justice to Old Los Angeles.

The new series promises to be in the same setting, but likely stylized and more to modern sensibilities. Valderrama could bring the right swagger, having evolved his persona from Fez on That 70’s Show to a more dynamic, action-oriented screen presence. He’s got the right smile. And sorry, I’m all for taking all the uncomplicated heroes we can get.

Plus I am reminded by my friend Javier Hernandez that Valderrama has played a superhero before — El Muerto. We can quibble on whether or not Zorro is a superhero, but he wears a mask. He has a cape. He slashes in a z formation. That’s super.

In the press release, Valderrama said

“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.”

That explains why if you go to Carthay Circle at Disney’s California Adventure, they’ve got Zorro memorabilia on display. It’s time.

He is alive let the wicked take fright
When they catch the sight of Zorro
He’s a friend of the weak and the poor and the meek
This very unique Senor Zorro

Songwriters: Norman Foster / George Bruns
Zorro lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company

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About Derek McCaw 2089 Articles
In addition to running Fanboy Planet, Derek has written for ActionAce, Daily Radar, Once Upon A Dime, and The Wave. He has contributed stories to Arcana Comics (The Greatest American Hero) and Monsterverse Comics (Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave). He has performed with ComedySportz and Silicon Valley Shakespeare, though relocated to Hollywood to... work in an office? If you ever played Eric's Ultimate Solitaire on the Macintosh, it was Derek's voice as The Weasel that urged you to play longer. You can buy his book "I Was Flesh Gordon" on the Amazon link at the right. Email him at editor@fanboyplanet.com.