‘Zorro Reborn’: Another Bad Post-Apocalyptic Idea

The Legend of Zorro - Antonio Banderas

Source: Sony

Imagine a dimly lit conference room in an unnamed Hollywood executive’s office building. Gathered around the table is an Illuminati of filmmakers, producers, and money men, all devoted to one thing: The gritty reboot.

“Well boys, we’ve done it all. We’ve given every property from the 80s and 90s a modern update set in a post-apocalypse wasteland,” says one producer, his face shrouded by the poor lighting.

“Damn right we have Jerry. If we’re scraping the barrel for a gritty re-imagining of Little Women, I’d say it’s a fair bet that there’s nothing left,” another says agreeably. “And for God’s sake can someone fix that damn flickering lamp, this is a movie studio, not the brutal regime of Spanish-held California.”

Jerry’s face lights up. “Spanish-held California, eh?”

The room collectively groans, exhausted from their decade-long quest to revive every forgone franchise. One of them speaks up, stating the one thing (almost) all of them feel in their heart of hearts. “No. Just…no. Please? Come on guys, even we have limits, right? Not–”

“MOTHER. FREAKING. ZORRO,” yells Jerry triumphantly, as he begins assembling a Pentagram made of twigs, leaves, and the tattered remains of Antonio Banderas’s costume from the original film.

And lo, the next installment in Hollywood’s endless quest for gritty reboots was born. Or at least we assume that’s the way it went down. Whatever the actual meeting looked like, we can’t imagine it didn’t involve constructing a complex Satanic summoning spell to bring forth another terrible idea for a post-apocalyptic remake. Zorro Reborn is all too real, it begins filming in 2016 after spending 15 years in development limbo, and may god have mercy on all our souls.

Hollywood Reporter has the full scoop on the planned film, “set in the near future” and acting as “a post-apocalyptic take on the myth of Zorro.” Awhile back, we thought that the same idea for a reboot of Little Women on the CW was the furthest Hollywood would take this concept. It didn’t take long for us to be proven wrong, Lantica Media and Sobini Films reviving a project that had been collecting dust on a shelf for over a decade. In some ways, it makes sense: Everything else is getting a gritty futuristic reboot, so why not get it while the getting’s good?

The answer? Because that is what everyone else is doing. It’s the simple schoolyard idiom: Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to. Unfortunately, Hollywood works in direct opposition to this ideal. They identify a trend that makes money, and then they do it ad nauseam until it stops making money, before picking up shop and moving on to the next big idea. It’s why Marvel Studios and Star Wars have been able to proliferate the way they have recently, and it extends past franchises and into base concepts. With movies like Zorro Reborn, we could be seeing the tail end of the “dark, gritty reboot” that’s lazily been slapped on to any and everything to make it tenable for modern audiences.

For all we know, Zorro Reborn will be the exception to prove the rule, but with a release date set for 2016, it’ll be capitalizing on a trend that by then, will likely be past its expiration date. The only way to end the brutal onslaught of post-apocalyptic reboots is simple: Stop giving your money to them. The more the post-apocalyptic re-imagining flops at the box office, the louder the message to Hollywood, that all the pentagrams and Satanic rituals in the world can’t change the fact that the days of gritty reboots are at an end.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest

More from Entertainment Cheat Sheet:

Want more great content like this? Sign up here to receive the best of Cheat Sheet delivered daily. No spam; just tailored content straight to your inbox