Gael Garcia Bernal Chosen To Play Zorro In Jonás Cuarón’s ‘Z’

Gael Garcia Bernal has been cast to play the new Zorro in Z, a film by director Jonás Cuarón. Early this year, Cuarón announced that he will be writing and directing a post-apocalyptic version of Zorro. It seems that the director has found his leading star, and a producer of the film talked more about choosing Bernal, as Deadline reported.

“I have always loved Gael for this role. Zorro is a hero who is charming, witty and clever. Gael possesses all those characteristics and he’s able to deliver them with a modern spin to introduce the Zorro character to a new audience.”

Jonás Cuarón, son of director Alfonso Cuarón, also worked with Gael Garcia Bernal in his directorial debut film entitled Desierto, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. It seems that the Cuaróns are big fans of Gael, as Alfonso also worked with the actor in Y Tu Mamá También in 2001.

Jonas Cuaron, left, and Gael Garcia Bernal attend the premiere for "Desierto" on day 4 of the Toronto International Film Festival at Winter Garden Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Toronto. (Photo by Tony Felgueiras/Invision/AP)

In April, Alfonso Cuarón wrote about Gael Garcia Bernal’s commitment to his work, telling how Gael called him one night, concerned about his upcoming role for the movie Bad Education. Gael needed his legs to be waxed for his transgender role, but there had been a problem.

“Gael was concerned. He couldn’t wax because of a huge bite on his leg, perhaps acquired while swimming in the Amazon for Diaries. In Madrid a doctor diagnosed the swelling – a spider had planted eggs inside his leg. Removal was a simple procedure, but this was very telling about Gael’s commitment to his characters and to his causes.”

The character Zorro was created by writer Johnston McCulley in 1919 and was introduced in the story The Curse of Capistrano. Zorro is the alter-ego of Don Diego de la Vega, a fictional nobleman who resided in the Los Angeles area between 1821 to 1946 during the Mexican rule.

Zorro is described as a master swordsman, only appearing when the helpless need him. He uses a double-edged fencing sword as a weapon and rides a black horse. Although Zorro’s appearance has changed over the years, he is oftentimes depicted wearing black clothes and gloves, a bandana and hat, and a black mask over his eyes, according to Comic Vine.

Over the years, Zorro has appeared in several films, played by different actors. His first movie appearance was in a 1920 silent film entitled The Mark of Zorro, wherein Zorro was played by Douglas Fairbanks. Fairbanks again played the role of the swordsman in 1925’s Don Q, Son of Zorro. In 1936, actor Robert Livingston played Zorro in the movie The Bold Caballero. In 1998, Antonio Banderas made the character popular in The Mask of Zorro, which was followed by The Legend of Zorro in 2005.

As of writing, there are no other details available regarding the storyline of Z, but Cinema Blend reports that filming will begin at the Pinewood Studios in Dominican Republic this fall.

Gael Garcia Bernal is a 37-year-old award-winning actor, known for appearing in the Amazon series, Mozart in the Jungle, for which he won a Best Actor Golden Globe Award. Bernal also appeared in films such as Amores Perros, Fidel, El Crimen del Padre Amaro, Bad Education, The Motorcycle Diaries, and Babel.

[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Time]