With our ‘Zorro Reborn’ proof-of-concept trailer article we exclusively posted last week, there has been a plethora of speculation in Hollywood on who could become the next Zorro and lead the Latino masked fugitive into the next generation. On film, Zorro was first played by Douglas Fairbanks in the 20’s, then most recently with Antonio Banderas in 1998 and 2005. Banderas to us inhabited the complete epitome of the character, but with the anti-hero off the screen for the last 8 years, there has been talk from 20th Century Fox, owners of the film rights, of rebooting the swashbuckling hero. But who could take Banderas’ place? With the film not yet greenlit and no set lead role, we take this opportunity to play around with the idea of proposing the six best Hispanic actors, in our opinion, that would be perfect to play the cunning hero of the flowing cape, flat-brimmed hat, and black eye-mask.
But before you see our candidates, we spoke to Banderas himself about who he thinks should play Zorro in “Zorro Reborn” in the video below at minute 2:30 (the video is in Spanish):
Here are our 6 candidates:
6. Jason DaySince he was Alejandro Fox, a.k.a. Zorro, in the ‘Zorro Reborn’ proof-of-concept trailer, Peruvian actor Jason Day is a legitimate contender to the lead role. He has a huge advantage in that he demonstrated to casting directors already what he can do. Known mostly for Latin American indie films, Day fits the Zorro part physically. The questions around him will center on his acting skills, his lack of US star power and his ability to carry a franchise. Nevertheless, if Fox greenlights the project and decides to go with an unknown protagonist, Day will more than satisfy the studio’s demands.
5. Oscar Jaenada
This Spanish actor who was casted to play Mexican icon Cantinflas on the big screen might not be a household name, but his face has dressed the Hollywood big screen in a couple of big budget productions such as “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” and “The Losers.” Oscar Jaenada not only has the perfect facial hair for the role, he also has an elegant and lean build, possesses a serious and mysterious gaze, all reminiscent of Douglas Fairbanks’ Zorro from the 20’s. Because of his work as Álvaro Mondego in the Spanish television series “Piratas,” Jaenada already has experience with swords as well as being good with women, two traits that The Zorro is undoubtedly remembered for. Unfortunately as suave as he might be, his facial features are a bit too skinny and sharp which actually make him look villainous.
4. Diego LunaThis Mexican actor/director, mostly known for his work in indie Latin American films like “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and “Rudo y Cursi,” is perhaps the frontrunner on Fox’s list to star. He’s done close to 10 Hollywood films, blockbuster and critically acclaimed, and is a name Hollywood knows of due to films such as “Milk” and most recently, “Elysium.” Diego Luna has the sculpted face and perfect facial hair to play The Zorro. He comes from a family of artists and has been involved in the film and theater industry since he was a child, but while he does has a varied acting range, his prankster reputation and lack of physical and imposing presence could serve as a drawback. He’d have to get jacked up and show more gravitas in his demeanor to pull it off.
3. Shalim Ortiz
It’s hard not to look at the picture above and not think Shalim Ortiz isn’t already playing Zorro somewhere in the world. The hardest part for the “Zorro Reborn” casting directors will be finding an actor who embodies the qualities of a new generation Zorro – one who looks more muscular than sophisticated, who is younger and who has enough acting experience for a major studio to take a risk on. Ortiz possesses all those qualities. Playing in his favor, this Puerto Rican/Dominican actor has managed to accomplish the nearly impossible task of working successfully in both the Latin and North American film and television markets at the same time. Most recently, he co-starred in the Telemundo novela “Dama y Obrero” and had a supporting role in the Starz series “Magic City.” Throughout his career he has played characters like the lover and the criminal along with the uncanny ability to inflict fear in one instance and be able to charm a woman in the next, all of which immensely relate to The Zorro.
2. Oscar IsaacConsidered by some to be one of the best upcoming actors in the business, Guatemalan Oscar Isaac is not a natural to play Zorro. At 5’8 with a brooding, melancholic gaze, he’s not going to intimidate anyone, but it’ll be hard to ignore his acting chops, industry cred and his growing fame. Isaac has to be considered simply because of his critically acclaimed films and the talents he brings to the table, but his dearth of body presence makes him a hard pill to swallow. Having created a huge buzz in the indie film world with his strong performances in “Drive” and “Agora,” his singing and acting skills have put him in high-demand. He’ll soon be starring in “Inside Llewyn Davis” from the Coen Bros. another film getting Oscar buzz.
1. Rodrigo SantoroSantoro is one of Brazil’s most recognized actors and has been very successful in the Hollywood universe with roles in prominent films like, “Love Actually,” “300,” “Rio,” and most recently “The Last Stand.” Hands down out of all the actors on this list he is the Zorro. He has the traditional attributes of the classic Zorro and because he is still in his 30’s, he can incarnate the new characteristics of the sci-fi resident Zorro. His body is muscular yet not bulky, his face is well defined and has a strong square chin, his facial hair is perfect and lastly his eyes are soft and kind, but in a heartbeat can become piercing and frightening just as we saw with his character in “300.” We think he’s perfect, but there is a clock on him. If 20th Century Fox doesn’t greenlight the project soon, they would have missed out on a great casting choice.
What do you think of our candidates to play this Iconic Spanish hero, is there anyone else that you would add? Share your thoughts in the comments below.