Wilmer, Wilmer, the fox so cunning and free? Wilmer Valderrama is starring in Disney+’s Zorro series as the masked vigilante, and he’s also serving as executive producer for the forthcoming show.
In a statement given to Deadline, Ayo Davis, the President of Disney Branded Television, says the show is reimagining the classic ‘50s Disney TV show as “a compelling period piece, set in Pueblo de Los Angeles, but told in a very modern telenovela style—with richly drawn contemporary characters and relationships set against the action, drama, suspense, and humor of the original, iconic Zorro.”
Valderrama also gave a statement of his own, noting how excited he is to bring back the Latinx hero to the small screen. “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 for the stories that I help bring to life,” he says. “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.”
There have been multiple versions of Zorro’s story. Antonio Banderas played Zorro in the 1998 movie The Mask Of Zorro and its sequel, The Legend Of Zorro, marking the first time a Hispanic actor has taken on the role in a Hollywood production. (Guy Williams from the ‘50 series was actually Italian.) Jonás Cuarón has also had a Zorro movie in the works for a while, starring Gael García Bernal as the hero, set in a post-apocalyptic world.
But though the sword-wielding character became widely popular through the Disney TV show, Zorro has been around longer than that. He was created by Johnston McCulley in 1919, first appearing in his novel, The Curse Of Capistrano.