Playwright Chris Boal to Rewrite Zorro Reboot

Columbia Pictures is moving forward with their proposed reboot of the Zorro franchise. Deadline reports that they’ve hired professional fencer/playwright-turned-screenwriter Chris Boal (the brother of The Hurt Locker scribe Mark Boal) to rewrite the draft previously scripted by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, in turn based on the 2005 Isabel Allende novel that served as a mock biography of he fictional character. That book is officially described as follows:

A swashbuckling adventure story, “Zorro” reveals the history behind the legendary masked man.

Born in Southern California in the late eighteenth century, Diego de la Vega is a child of two worlds. His father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner, his mother a Shoshone warrior. From his father, Diego receives lessons in the art of fencing and in cattle branding; from his maternal grandmother, White Owl, he learns the ways of her tribe. As a child he also witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers and begins to feel the inner conflict of his dual heritage.

At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona to be educated. Spain is chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, and Diego, following the example of his celebrated fencing master, joins La Justicia, a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. With this tumultuous period as a backdrop, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts a great rival who emerges from the world of privilege. After many adventures—duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and daring rescues—Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda where he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves.

Deadline likens the new approach to the iconic character to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, claiming that the new Zorro will feature, “a new backstory, gritty realism and [an] emotional core.”

Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes are set to produce with Lauren Abrahams and Marc Resteghini overseeing for Sony and Parkes/MacDonald, respectively.