A sequel to the Antonio Banderas "Zorro" movie is coming Oct. 28, 2005. And as always, that means it's lawsuit time!
This better not get in the way of Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones buckling my swash. I NEED IT.
This time, a film company says they have the rights to the first appearance of Zorro, 1919's "The Curse of Capistrano." They say that Sony has all the other rights and is trying to stop them from making a Zorro movie of their own. They say that Sony sent them a cease-and-desist letter, and they say that they want Zorro's costume to be ruled to be in the public domain, too.
Johnston McCulley created the character in a 1919 pulp story. From there ensued movies, a Disney TV series starring the future Daddy Robinson from "Lost in Space," a 1970s cartoon, and the totally underrated "Zorro, the Gay Blade" movie. ("The eyes of freedom will always see through the blindfolds of tyranny!")
Papercutz does excellent Zorro comics, written by Dan McGregor. And Isabel Allende wrote a 2005 book called "Zorro" that features the character of Zorro, mask and history intact. The book is kind of romancey and less swashbuckley.
I blame the alcalde. The mayor of some Mexican town was always nipping at Zorro's heels. As in "You naughty, evil Alcalde! I am going to do bad things to you!"
The plaintiffs in question want to make their own movie, "Zorro 2110."
I bet that in the future, Zorro uses an energy-saber instead of a foil. And he rides a hover-scooter instead of a horse. And he fights robotos instead of banditos.
See? This stuff writes itself. Badly.
Somehow, through all this, no one has seen fit to speak to Zorro Productions, Inc.. According to its site, www.zorro.com, it manages all the rights to all Zorro stuff, the movies, the likeness, and everything mentioned above.
Do I have to do everything for these people? Can I pick up some legal research fee for that? My rate starts at 120 colonial pesos an hour.