Wilmer Valderrama arrives at the 61st Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 10, 2019. Valderrama is best known for his role as Fez on the hit sitcom “That ’70s Show” as well as his role as Nick Torres on “NCIS.”
By Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS
By Joe Otterson Variety
Wilmer Valderrama is attached to star in and executive produce a live-action “Zorro” series that is in development at Disney Branded Television.
In “Zorro,” Valderrama would star as Don Diego de la Vega and his swashbuckling alter ego, the masked horseman known as Zorro, in the days of Spanish California.
The show is a reimagining of the Disney-ABC “Zorro” series starring Guy Williams that aired in the 1950s. That show also starred Gene Sheldon, George J. Lewis, and Henry Calvin. It aired 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 — with richly drawn contemporary characters and relationships set against the action, drama, suspense and humor of the original, iconic Zorro,” said Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television. “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.”
Along with Valderrama, the new should be executive produced by Gary Marsh, the outgoing president and chief creative officer of Disney Branded Television. The show is part of Marsh’s production pact with Disney General Entertainment. John Gertz of Zorro Productions Inc. is also an executive producer.
“Growing up, Zorro was the one character that made me, as a Latino, feel like I could be a hero,” Valderrama said. “As an adult and a storyteller, I have a responsibility in the stories that I help bring to life. To partner with Gary 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 best known for his role as Fez on the hit sitcom “That ’70s Show” as well as his role as Nick Torres on “NCIS.” He has worked with Disney multiple times in the past, including the Disney Junior animated series “Handy Manny” and the Disney animated films “Onward” and “Encanto.”
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