Catherine Zeta-Jones Wants The New Zorro To Be A Woman
Catherine Zeta-Jones, one of the stars of the 1998 film The Mask of Zorro, thinks that her newest co-star Lisette Olivera should take on the role of the iconic Mexican adventurer. According to an interview with ComicBook.com, the Wednesday star thinks that her fellow National Treasure: Edge of History actor would be perfect as the newest incarnation of Zorro, saying she “think[s] she has all the elements to be the next Elena de la vega [sic]. I would love to see a lady Zorro.”
Elena de la Vega was the character Catherine Zeta-Jones portrayed in The Mask of Zorro, who was introduced as the daughter of the longtime enemy of Zorro/Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins). Eventually, it was revealed that she was, in fact, the daughter of Zorro and had been secretly adopted by Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson) and raised as his own. Over the course of the film, Catherine Zeta-Jones rejected Montero and joined forces with the new Zorro, Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas), who she also ended up in a romantic relationship with.
Since the underwhelming Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones sequel The Legend of Zorro in 2005, the franchise has been pretty dormant. Nearly a year ago, we reported that the CW was developing a female-led Zorro film to go along with its roster of teen-oriented series like Riverdale and Nancy Drew, but considering the state of the CW these days, that is almost certainly a no-go (though not officially canceled). Similarly, That ‘70s Show star Wilmer Valderrama was reported to be starring in a live-action Disney series based on Zorro, but there has been little word of that moving forward.
Though Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones’ version of Zorro is the best-known modern take on the character, the masked vigilante has been around for over a hundred years in different incarnations. Zorro first appeared in pulp stories by Johnston McCulley in 1919 and has typically been depicted as a wealthy Mexican landowner who uses his fencing skills, a mask and cape, and a rakish attitude to defend the common people against corrupt officials and bandits. Since then, Zorro has appeared in virtually every form of media from radio to silent film to comic books to video games.
It would be unsurprising for Catherine Zeta-Jones’ suggestion to take root in some studio executive’s mind and for Zorro to be rebooted as a woman, possibly as the daughter of the original or some other relation. While it would likely cause some controversy (as gender-swapping roles tend to do), it could be a new direction for a franchise that seems to have lost momentum in the last few decades.
Catherine Zeta-Jones is currently set to star in National Treasure: Edge of History as the antagonist of the Disney+ reboot of the Nicolas Cage franchise. Her suggested neo-Zorro Lisette Olivera stars in the show as a teenager named Jess Valenzuela, who presumably follows in Ben Franklin Gates’ footsteps by hunting for specifically American historical objects that have hidden significance. National Treasure: Edge of History is scheduled to premiere on December 14.