Zorro Productions Inc. controls the worldwide trademarks and copyrights in the name, visual likeness and the character of Zorro. The brand is represented worldwide by over thirty-five licensing agents for all media and ancillary products. John Gertz, President and CEO, has been guiding the brand for over thirty-five years through major films, television, stage productions, publishing projects and promotions in addition to thousands of licensed products. The corporate offices are located in Berkeley, California.
“ … It’s not just one man, damn it, it’s ZORRO!”
-Don Rafael, (The Mask of Zorro, 1998)
The year 2005 featured another major Zorro release preceding The Legend of Zorro. Internationally beloved author Isabel Allende (Paula, Daughter of Fortune, Portraits in Sepia, My Invented Country) completed the flagship ZORRO, a novel which as published by Harper Collins in May 2005. Allende created the classic legend of how young Diego de la Vega became Zorro. Allende's book was optioned by Columbia Pictures.
The eagerly awaited sequel to The Mask of Zorro, entitled The Legend of Zorro premiered October 28, 2005. The film reunited Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones again as Alejandro de la Vega, with his alter ego, Zorro, and his wife, Elena. In this action packed tale, Joaquin, Alejandro and Elena's ten year old son, does not know that his own father is his hero, Zorro. Director Martin Campbell reassembled much of the original production team in Mexico for the shoot at a renovated hacienda in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Celebrated children's' writer Jan Adkins (What if you Met a Pirate, A Storm Without Rain, Bridges) authored the first mystery adventure novel for 8-12 year olds, entitled Young Zorro: The Iron Brand based on Allende's Zorro novel. Released in Jan. 2006 by Harper Childrens, Adkins deepens Allende's classic tale, embellishing the lives of Diego and his "milk brother" Bernardo as they develop the necessary skills for later exploits as "El Zorro, the fox."
Rubies costume company took over domestic and international sales for Zorro beginning in 2006, reinvisioning and expanding the product line. Zorro in Hell, a comedic rendition by Culture Clash of Zorro as a motivational icon for social change, premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theater to rave reviews in May 2006, and moved on to La Jolla Playhouse. The show began a commercial run in Los Angeles, opening in July 2007. Workshops of the Zorro musical took place in Los Angeles, New York and the Bay Area as development proceeded on the groundbreaking new show.
The major event in 2007 was the national premiere of Zorro: the Sword and the Rose, (Zorro: La Espada y La Rosa). One hundred and twenty-two episodes were produced by Sony Television International and Zorro Productions for Telemundo. The Spanish language series was filmed in and around Bogota Columbia. It currently airs internationally.
Zorro: Generation Z, an animated series from BKN International also began production and aired in 2008. Nintendo Wii game also was release in spring ’08 from 505 Games along with a new anthology of Zorro stories for contemporary authors from Moonstone Books. Dynaforces began publishing a series of Zorro comics and graphic novel based on the Allende Zorro story.
Zorro, the Musical, with an original score by the Gipsy Kings, premiered on London’s West End in June of 2008. It received rave reviews and won 5 Olivier nominations. It has since gone on to openings in Paris, Moscow, Beirut, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, and Sao Paolo, with many more openings planned.
Zorro, the Musical continues to run, currently playing abroad and the US since April 10, 2013; it is expected to hit Broadway in 2015.
What is in the future for Zorro? A futuristic live action film produced by Sobini Films, Zorro Reborn is currently in pre-production. Also, in the works, another movie based on Allende’s ZORRO, a novel which will be produced by Sony Pictures. Cyber Groups Studios, Paris, in association with ZPI, with the participation of France Television, Zorro The Chronicles is currently in production and will be a fully computer animated TV series. The first episode will be delivered Fall of 2014. One more television series, produced by Georgeville Entertainment, Z will be a modern day adaptation of Zorro as a one hour live action series.
Why is there still so much interest in Zorro? The masked fox stands out as perhaps the most multi-dimensional character in the pantheon of super heroes. Zorro personifies action, romance, humor and heroism. An ethnic hero, he is simultaneously wise, brave, charming, cunning, and romantic. Zorro has true cross-generational appeal, an icon to four generations of fans around the world. Zorro has had true staying power because he has been successfully reinterpreted within the spirit of the times.