Wilmer Valderrama is fixin’ to saddle up as Don Diego de la Vega and his masked alter ego Zorro in an update of the ABC series from the late 1950s.
The project, which is in development at Disney Branded Television, is described as a reimagining of the Zorro series that starred Guy Williams and aired from 1957-59, and spawned a quartet of Walt Disney anthology specials.
“Growing up, Zorro was the one character that made me, as a Latino, feel like I could be a hero,” Valderrama, who will also executive-produce the project, said in a statement. “As an adult and a storyteller, I have a responsibility for the stories that I help bring to life. To partner with Gary [Marsh of Disney General Entertainment] and Disney to bring Zorro back into the family after 60 years and be a part of the legacy for other children to know they too can be the heroes of their own stories is a dream come true.”
Valderrama is currently in his sixth season as Special Agent Nick Torres on CBS’ NCIS. TVLine has made multiple requests for comment on whether the actor would juggle both series, if Zorro moves forward.
Disney Branded Television president Ayo Davis said in a statement, “We’re reimagining this Disney classic as a compelling period piece, set in Pueblo de Los Angeles but told in a very modern telenovela style — with richly drawn contemporary characters and relationships set against the action, drama, suspense, and humor of the original, iconic Zorro.
“Wilmer shares our commitment to reflect the interesting and rich diversity of the human experience,” Davis added, “and we look forward to delivering a culturally relevant and entertaining story with definitional characters that will connect with our viewers for generations to come.”
It’s certainly something to watch for as to the logistics.Since most potential TV shows announced to be “in production” never get to the point of being actually cast and a pilot filmed and then picked up I ‘m not jumping to any conclusions. Can definitely see why Wilmer Valderrama and his production company would be attracted to “Zorro”.
One thing that sounds a bit contradictory—Ayo Davis states it would be a “compelling period piece set in Pueblo de Los Angeles” but with “contemporary characters”.
It just means that the characters might be drawn with more modern sensibilities. It’s a period fantasy series not an historical drama. Hardly a novel or controversial approach…
Loved Zorro growing up. I look forward to seeing the character and stories return.
Would be a great opportunity for him and would understand him leaving NCIS for his own show that he’s the lead in. Have to take risk in life.
I am only 34 but watched the reruns of the 50’s show on Disney Channel as a kid (Plus, “Mask of Zorro” is a fantastic film). I’d love to see this!
Without Gibbs, they should just go ahead and end NCIS anyway. I think Wilmer would be a PHENOMENAL Zorro!
I co-sign this spignejr.
Interesting … juggling would depend if Zorro is picked up as well as the format. If it’s a 10 episode commitment for Disney streaming, he could potentially do it and continue on NCIS.
is this the same project Secuoya Studios is developing, in collaboration with John Gertz ?
I guess it depends if NCIS is picked up for next year. Which is still a big question. But the ratings have stayed steady despite the change in day and new cast members. So, anything is possible. Hopefully he is able to juggle if both shows are picked up.
Kinda looks like a Sinking Ship at the NCIS mothership.
Not necessarily at all.Even with all the challenges this Season with the day and timeslot change plus Mark Harmon stepping down from lead NCIS is still the undisputed #1 in total viewership across the board for all scripted network shows (NBC,ABC,CBS,FOX,CW)–it is at a multiple tie for #11 highest rated in Live +overnight ratings for all scripted network shows. IMHO I think CBS itself has been surprised at how well NCIS has continued to perform and will want to keep it going for at least another Season.
It also is (or certainly was) amongst the most popular shows worldwide and no doubt makes plenty of money for CBS that way. Holding it’s ranking at #1 with a major cast change, a change of night and being against Monday Night Football is actually very impressive.
At one time it was the #1 show worldwide. Anyway, while NCIS will never be the same…ever… Gary Cole is growing on me. We still have Magee and Jimm and, on occasion, Ducky. Of the show needs a lot fe, they could bring back Gibbsfrom time to time to battle an old enemy.
I agree it will be interesting to see if this makes it to series whether Wilmer remains on NCIS. He already juggles several projects at a time, so I can see that happening. As for the naysayers who keep proclaiming NCIS is done, I love the way the show reinvents itself every few years. Like L&O SVU, I can see the show going many more seasons bringing in new agents along the way. As much as we hate loosing characters we love, it gives us the opportunity to know new people – just like in real life.
SVU didnt lose Mariska Hargitay like NCIS lost Mark Harmon…
And Mariska’s not 70 years old either, but they did give her character a promotion – although I haven’t watched that show in years, isn’t being the captain supposed to be more of a desk job and less detective work?
It was until Benson was promoted. Suspension of disbelief. Suspension of disbelief. Supergirl can fly. All doctors at Grey-Sloan are surgeons and are frequently in the ER. Cases on Bull come through the door a few days before trial, get fully prepared, and finish in a few days. And, Captain Benson goes into the field on every SVU case. They are all entertainment, not documentaries, but I am always a little disappointed when legal, police, and medical dramas are as unrealistic as sci fi, fantasy, and superhero shows.
I always thought El Zorro would be on Fox.
Feliz Navidad 🌲🎅🎀
The way television is done nowadays, he can do NCIS and also do Zorro, with neither interfering with the other
Since Valderrama has already managed to appear in person or voice for 7 films and multiple appearances in non-broadcast shows while also appearing in NCIS it’s certainly possible especially since Disney has run many shows with Seasons only 6-10 episodes. As Neil Gaiman likes to say “wait and see”.
As a long time telenovela fan, since 8th grade, I’m curious to see what this looks like but I don’t think it’ll last long.
*Gaby Spanic/La Usurpadora is the greatest telenovla acress/novela of all time!
Oh, honey, do some research.
There hasn’t been a great telenovela since probably the mid-90’s.
And I’m talking about the great telenovelas from Mexican tv.
Oh honey do you know when La Usurpadora was? I speficifically mentioned Gaby Spanic, in case you’re thinking of the remake and not the original!
Lol. My research is watching way too many to count. Maria La Del Barrio was my first with Thalia! And Pasion y Poder was pretty good, as were many from the last decade.
Caer en Tentación topples La Usurpadora easily.
FeZorro! I still have a hard time shaking memories of That ’70s Show when watching Wilmer in anything he does nowadays.
Haha, FeZorro 😜👍
He was JUST talking about always wanting to play Zorro on last Wednesday’s episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. Guess he made it happen.
Zorro = Yayyy! Wilmer – not so much. I’d be more interested in it if it starred Leonardo Sbalaglia, Will Levy or Carlos PenaVega.
Is he going to
I like this!! If he leaves NCIS I hope they send him off to find Ellie.
Yea I don’t think he’ll make a good Zorro, he’s not that good in NCIS.
Just who is going to get the ‘Z’ anyway? Will they still use ‘comic’ characters? Tread lightly House of Mouse!
Sounds like NCIS might be coming to an end
People have been making that comment for years, and the show is still going strong.
Broadcast-TV’s most watched scripted series!
And, the ad revenue from that is only a part of what the show earns through streaming, on demand, syndication, and international sales. We see less and less of what a show’s true earnings are in the Nielsens. Ratings may be a proxy for popularity but less a measure of revenue every season.
That might be in jeopardy next year when the original Law & Order returns to it’s rightful place on Television.
I grew up watching telenovelas and if they add Zorro to it, that’s sound as interesting idea I could watch
As a kid I loved the original. Love Winer’s work. Will definitely watch.
Wasn’t he developing a puppet show, too, a couple years back?
Though I like his NCIS character, I would understand his desire to be part of a series that spotlights a Latino hero. As a child, I enjoyed the original series. I remember it as totally Spanish settler-oriented, very little, if any, native cultures portrayed. Wonder if that will change.
Zorro is a hispanic character, no a latino. It should be played by a caucasian-actor, for instance Dylan O´brien who by the way, he is also hispanic.
Hispanic is defined as someone who comes from a country or heritage whose native tongue is Spanish-including Latin American (but excluding Portugal)and it is not defined by racial identity.
Edit–meant to write excluding Brazil whose official language is Portuguese.
But don Alejandro de la Vega is definetely a white Spaniard, hemce why he was played by a Spaniard in The mask of Zorro. Whatever.
The most iconic representations of Zorro were played by Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn and neither were Spanish/Hispanic.Also Anthony Hopkins played his father…definitely not Spanish/Hispanic.Also there is a long history of Latinos identifying with the character with 7 Mexican Zorro films with Mexican actors playing the role.
People from Spain are caucasians. Therefore, no poblems to see europeans playing us. What is ridiculous is watching a mexican playing a spaniard,
AS when they considered Antonio Banderas as person of color.
Another example is Jessica Alba, who is 90% Caucasian… Still angry about how illiterate was Mr. Lopez when he found out.. how is possible? My family is from Spain he replied and he was like and what??? Spaniards are caucasians.
Caucasians are people from the Caucausus. So that includes Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, and more.
I’m going to try to be diplomatic in my response as clearly you are very proud (and should be) of your family being from Spain.You mentioned actor Dylan O’Brian as a better choice because he has some Hispanic blood.Dylan is from a heritage of Irish,Itallian,English and Spanish Blood.Wilmer’s father is from Venezuela and mother from Columbia and it’s a safe bet that genetically he has far more ancestry traced back to Spain than Dylan.It seems to me you are far more concerned about how much “pure” caucasian blood an actor has than how much Spanish blood they might have.
I mean, is he? It’s never really made clear. He’s born in California. His father was a Spanish nobleman, but his dead mother isn’t usually made clear. In one adaptation she was Native American. So he could be 50% Mexican, Indian, anything really. I’m not really seeing the issue with giving the Spanish speaking character (who will speak English anyway) in Mexican California for Hispanic roles. Seems like a silly hill to die on.