That '70s Show

Zorro Series Starring That 70s Show’s Wilmer Valderrama In The Works

Wilmer Valderrama, best known for his portrayal of Fez on That '70s Show, is set to star as the lead character in an upcoming Zorro series.

That ’70s Show alum Wilmer Valderrama is set to play the titular hero in an upcoming Zorro series. Though the iconic masked fighter was created in 1919 by author Johnston McCulley, one of the most memorable adaptations of the character wouldn’t occur until 1998. The Mask of Zorro, directed by Martin Campbell and starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, was both a critical and commercial hit. Against a reported budget of $95 million, the film grossed more than $250 million worldwide. A sequel was released in 2005, with the director and the two leads returning, though it failed to reach the same heights as the original.

Over the years, other projects have attempted to cultivate that same success by offering a fun take on the dashing swashbuckler. Back in December 2020, it was reported that director Robert Rodriguez wanted to bring a female Zorro to the screen. Even more recently, this past November, it was announced that MacArthur grant-recipient Alex Rivera was selected to work on an adaptation that would imagine the character as a young, undocumented hacker known as ‘z0rr0’. Now, another Zorro project has been revealed – and it’s led by a familiar face to television audiences.

Variety reports that Valderrama, best known for his portrayal of Fez on That ’70s Show, will star in a reimagined Zorro television series. The live-action adaptation, referred to simply as Zorro in the report, hails from Disney Branded Television and will see Valderrama play Don Diego de la Vega and his alter-ego. The series is described as a reimagining, specifically of the 1950s Disney-ABC show of the same name, which starred Guy Williams. In addition to headlining the project, Valderrama will also executive produce alongside Gary Marsh and John Gertz of Zorro Productions Inc.

Valderrama, who is also recognized for From Dusk till Dawn: The Series in addition to being a part of the long-running procedural NCIS, said it was a dream-come-true to play Zorro. While little is known about the plot specifics at this early stage, Disney Branded Television President Ayo Davis discussed the adaptation in a statement of her own. Davis described the forthcoming show as a “compelling period piece” which will take place in Pueblo de Los Angeles, and noted that the story will be told in a “very modern telenovela style.”

Time will tell if that approach will work, as Zorro has long divided audiences in terms of how the character should be depicted. Some have argued that a light touch works best, while others have pointed out that a more grounded and even grim presentation could be worthwhile. With several adaptations about the vigilante being developed, it should be interesting to see which ones move forward. And, if that happens, which iteration catches on the most with audiences.

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