Zorro heads back to TV, American Mythology’s comics continue into 2022

Wilmer Valderrama - Zorro Montage

The legend of “Zorro” lives on, with news that actor Wilmer Valderrama is developing a TV series based on the Disney western for Disney Branded Television, and continuing comics action thanks to American Mythology Productions.

The masked western action hero Zorro first appeared in the story “The Curse of Capistrano” in the 1919 novel by American pulp writer Johnston McCulley. The character has also appeared in comics many times since the 1940s, with reprints and original stories printed worldwide, some stories drawn by the legendary Alex Toth, whose work also featured on the final three covers of the Marvel series packaged by Marvel UK based on the TV series Zorro – New World, published back in 1990, written by Ian Rimmer.

Original film poster art for the Italian-produced Zorro Il Vendicatore, or as it was known in limited release elsewhere, Zorro the Avenger
Original film poster art for the Italian-produced Zorro Il Vendicatore, or as it was known in limited release elsewhere, Zorro the Avenger

Valderrama is set to executive produce and star in the project as Don Diego de la Vega and his masked alter ego. Variety reports the show is a reimagining of the Disney-ABC Zorro, series, which starred Guy Williams, which aired in the 1950s and ran for 78 episodes between 1957 and 1959, with four hour-long episodes airing in the early 1960s.

“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,” said Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, “with richly drawn contemporary characters and relationships set against the action, drama, suspense and humor of the original, iconic Zorro.

Actor, producer and activist Wilmer Valderrama is perhaps most recognised for his role as Fez, an exchange student, on the Emmy Award-nominated series That ‘70s Show, for which he garnered several Teen Choice Awards, but also as Special Agent Nicholas “Nick” Torres in the crime series NCIS, and for starring roles in other shows such as Minority Report, From Dusk Till Dawn and Awake, and many guest roles, too, plus various independent feature film credits.

Valderrama is also a voice actor known for voicing the character Manny in the children’s TV series, Handy Manny, and is among the voices in the new Disney feature animation, Encanto. He was also part of 2020 film Onward voice cast, which also featured Tom Holland and Chris Pratt.

Essential Voices with Wilmer Valderrama

He’s currently host to the podcast, Essential Voices with Wilmer Valderrama, intimate conversations with people vital to work on the frontline in the COVID-19 pandemic, working in the US food system, transportation, child-care and other workers who are so often overlooked.

“Wilmer shares our commitment to reflect the interesting and rich diversity of the human experience 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.”

The new Zorro project is executive produced by former Disney Branded Entertainment President and Chief Creative Officer Gary Marsh under the production deal for his banner at Disney General Entertainment, and John Gertz of Zorro Productions, Inc.

Zorro in Comics

Zorro Legendary Adventures
Zorro: Swords of Hell

US publisher American Mythology Productions are currently publishing new Zorro comic adventures, stories with a supernatural twist, pitting the famed hero against demons, vampires, and all forms of paranormal evil. Zorro: Swords of Hell, the first miniseries of the Maryland-based publisher’s thrilling new western horror direction, was written by David Avallone (Bettie Page, Twilight Zone: The Shadow), illustrated by Roy Allan Martinez (House of M, Immortal Iron Fist), and coloured by Enrica Angiolini (Warhammer 40,000, Eternal Thirst of Dracula).

Since then, various series have followed, among them Zorro: Sacrilege, written by Mike Wolfer with art by Mauricio Melo, Zorro: Galleon of the Dead, also by Wolfer with art by Alex Miracolo, and Lady Zorro by Pat Shand and Vincenzo Carratu; plus, The Mark of Zorro 100 Years of the Masked Avenger Collector’s Limited Edition Art Book.

Zorro Flights #1

Zorro Flights is a series that sees writer Don McGregor returns to writing the character for the first time in over 15 years. In “Flights,” featuring art by Vincenzo Carratu, Zorro finds himself face to face with a fire breathing dragon. But something is not quite right, for though this huge creature soars into the air breathing fire, it also seems to be controlled by man…

American Mythology Productions have also reprinted many classic Zorro comic adventures, including stories never previously published in English, in their Zorro Legendary Adventures series.

Zorro: New World Montage

The reprints also include Zorro: New World, the Marvel Comics 12-issue series first published some 30 years ago, written by Marvel UK stalwart Ian Rimmer, drawn by Mario Capaldi, then based on the popular Family Channel television series featuring Duncan Regehr as the swashbuckling hero. The first issue in that reprint series hits comic shops in January.

Zorro, by Mario Capaldi
Zorro, by Mario Capaldi

Packaged by Marvel UK, edited by Euan Peters, Zorro New World was first published by its parent, Marvel Comics, in 1990, running for 12 issues, the popularity of the TV series saw the comic reprinted in Holland, Germany and Sweden. Later issues included art and covers by 2000AD regular Dave Taylor, then a relative newcomer to the industry.

Follow Wilmer Valderrama on Twitter | Instagram

Wilmer Valderrama bio on the official NCIS web site

• Visit American Mythology’s website to buy and pre-order comics, as well as see information about upcoming issues.

Zorro at American Mythology

The Mark of Zorro 100 Years of the Masked Avenger Collector’s Limited Edition Art Book

The Mark of Zorro 100 Years of the Masked Avenger Collector’s Limited Edition Art Book

This limited-edition hardcover comes with an exclusive foil emblazoned dust jacket, die-cut with Zorro’s trademark “Z” to reveal a visual history of Zorro on the cover beneath. The cover itself is an amazing collage of classic comic book and pulp cover art that celebrates the enduring heart and legend of Zorro.

Other special features of this edition include a frameable 8” x 10” reproduction of rare classic Zorro art, perfect for framing, exclusive digital download codes for the original Zorro novel, “The Curse of Capistrano” by Johnston McCulley, and a download of the original Zorro film, The Mark of Zorro, featuring Douglas Fairbanks.

Celebrate Zorro’s centennial with a massive collector’s tome of riches including rare art from Zorro pulp publications, film, television, comics, animation, and pop culture! The Mark of Zorro 100 Years of the Masked Avenger is a beautifully crafted love letter to the storied history of one of the most enduring heroes ever to grace popular culture. Zorro rides again with a wonderful collected edition celebrating the rich history and current exploits of Johnston McCulley’s iconic hero. From his inception in 1919 to the thriving fan following in 2019, this volume treats readers to a reverent romp through a century of masked heroics. This edition is perfect for new and old Zorro fans

Categories: Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Other Worlds, Television, US Comics

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