EXCLUSIVE: NBC is developing Zorro, a contemporary take on the classic masked vigilante character with a gender swap. It comes from a high-profile creative team, which includes filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, writer-director Rebecca Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara and her LatinWe, as well as Ben Siverman and Howard T. Owens’ Propagate. CBS Studios, where Propagate has a deal, will co-produce with Universal TV.
Co-written by the brother and sister duo of Robert and Rebecca Rodriguez and to be directed by Rebecca, Zorro centers on Sola Dominguez, an underground artist who fights for social injustice as contemporary version of the mythical Zorro. Her life is threatened by several criminal organizations after she exposes them.
Robert Rodriguez and Rebecca Rodriguez executive produce with Silverman, Rodney Ferrell, Greg Lipstone and Jay Weisleder for Propagate, Vergara and Luis Balaguer for LatinWe, Geoff Clark, Eric Bromberg and John Gertz.
Propagate set out to develop a TV series re-imagining of Zorro with a female protagonist last season as one of the company’s first projects under its first-look deal with CBS Studios. The idea’s first incarnation, written by Alfredo Barrios Jr., also was set up at NBC.
Vergara and Silverman are frequent collaborators; they have teamed to produce together several projects over the past decade while Silverman was at Electus and after her joined Propagate, including the ABC drama series Killer Women.
Vergara received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her starring role on ABC’s Modern Family. Her feature credits include the Warner Bros. buddy comedy Hot Pursuit, which she also produced. Additionally, she executive produced the Spanish version of Desperate Housewives.
Propagate’s scripted series slate includes the CW’s Charmed.
Robert Rodriguez was attached to direct The Mask of Zorro and cast Antonio Banderas as the title role before leaving the feature project. In TV, he developed and executive produced the series adaptation of his movie From Dusk Till Dawn for his TV network El Rey and also executive produced the Spy Kids animated series offshoot for Netflix. He recently directed an episode of Disney+’s The Mandalorian.
Rebecca Rodriguez’s recent directing credits include episodes of TNT’s Snowpiercer and Showtime’s The Chi.