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THE LEGEND OF ZORRO

About The Production
Created in 1919 by Johnston McCulley for his novel, The Curse Of Capistrano, ‘Zorro' is considered the first masked hero in modern American fiction. As The Legend of Zorro director Martin Campbell observes, "Zorro protects the common man—not many heroes before him did that. He is really a man of the people. He doesn't have any special powers or gadgets, only a sword, a whip and his wits.” Campbell quickly adds: "Mind you, there are some pretty extraordinary things Zorro does with those props, but ultimately he is a flesh and blood man, not a digital character like many of today's superheroes.”

It is Zorro's humanity that captivated producer Laurie MacDonald. "The reason I love Zorro, and think we can all relate to him more, is because he doesn't have superhuman powers. He is an ordinary man. Sure, he rides a horse better than most and is expert at swordplay. But essentially, he is like any other man dealing with some very human issues.”

Antonio Banderas, who returns as Zorro in The Legend of Zorro, sees him as "A character who is born from the people and gives back to the people. The people need somebody and Zorro is almost like a dream come true, someone who can save them from what they see as unfair and unjust.”

"This new adventure takes us deeper into the story of Zorro, a true hero in the great American tradition, a man who is willing to take on the oppressor, despite the great personal risk he must endure,” says director Campbell.

Part of the success of The Mask of Zorro was the adroit casting of Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the roles of Zorro and Elena. Producer Walter F. Parkes recalls: "There was just something that happened on the screen between them that really ignited.”

That spark generated over $250 million at the worldwide box office.

The Legend of Zorro picks up with Zorro and Elena a decade later, married, with a child, and plunges them into a new adventure. "One of the challenges of creating the new adventure was that we married them off at the end of the last movie,” says producer MacDonald. "We pick them up a decade later, happily married, but with some serious issues between them — enough to cause a rift between them. And from this the story of Zorro and Elena's commitment grows and deepens in an effectively dramatic way.”

The separation of Zorro and Elena in The Legend of Zorro proved to be fortuitous to the new adventure. "Love stories are always best when the status quo is upended,” says director Campbell, "when the lovers have to overcome numerous obstacles in order to be united, or in this case, reunited. And that's precisely what happens here.”

In a way, observes producer Parkes, what happens between Zorro and Elena in The Legend of Zorro hearkens back to classic Hollywood love stories. "It's kind of a throwback to the Hollywood comedies in which the hero and the heroine can't live with each other — and yet, can't live without each other either. It serves not only as a potent storytelling device, but it re-ignites the romantic energy that exists between them.”

When Banderas read the new script, he found it contained all the elements that had made the first film so satisfying. "There was comedy, which is essential to this type of movie, well developed dialogue, and lots of adventure. Knowing that Martin and many of the people who had worked on the first movie would be returning, I knew it was going to be exciting to do.”

Zeta-Jones attests, "None of us wanted to embark on a new adventure if we didn't think it would have the same magic as the first film. When we saw that the script had captured that, well, we knew it was just a slam-dunk!”

Director Campbell found that the production of The Legend of Zorro, "Was one of those rare occasions when everybody was in agreement about what we were doing,

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