There is such a thing as wearing out a gimmick before it ever gets started, and a gender-swapped Zorro production is definitely along the lines of such thinking since not only is the titular hero going to be gender-swapped, but they’ll be out to deal social justice to criminals as well, which will, of course, put a massive target on the hero’s back, much as Zorro would probably have it anyway. But is there really a need to gender-swap this classic hero? Isn’t there a way to continue the legacy of Zorro from the old says into the modern era without having to slap a virtue-signaling label over the front of it? The answer to these questions apparently is ‘no’ since this is what we’re getting at this time it sounds like, and it’s already enough to make a lot of people roll their eyes. Zorro has, of course, been male throughout the years, but if anyone is thinking that Zorro has suffered from misogyny throughout the years, they’d be right in a way, since not a lot of women have been seen to do a lot in the Zorro movies, at least not until Catherine Zeta-Jones was seen to pick up a blade and duel with Antonio Banderas’ version of the masked hero. She did pretty well actually, and she proved to be pretty tough as well. So goodbye misogyny in that case, right? Oh, if only it were that simple.
To be completely honest there’s no problem with Zorro being played by a woman, but making a big deal out of it being gender-swapped usually means that the old legend is being scrapped and that the movies that have come before won’t pertain to the show. Hopefully that’s not the case, but at this time it does feel as though this might happen. It could be that the legend of Zorro is still very much a reality in this story, but it could be that gender-swapping the role could mean that a long line of women has been carrying the line of Zorro, without any mention of the originator of the role. If this is the case then it feels as though longtime fans of Zorro might have something to say, or not, since it’s becoming difficult to find people that aren’t hopping on the ‘woke’ train that Hollywood is attempting to use to steamroll so many projects. That does sound exaggerated, there’s no doubt, but since this isn’t the first show to get on board the gender-swap express one has to wonder just how many other shows are going to get this treatment before someone finally realizes that the female lead could possibly be a descendant that’s carrying on the line of Zorro and doesn’t necessarily have to be touted as a gender-swapped version.
The desire to see a male Zorro, as many of us grew up with, isn’t the driving force behind trying to say no to this project, which would be pointless since it’s happening anyway, but the desire to see new legends created while old ones are left alone is a very big desire since sharing the old legends is easy, but creating new legends is a challenge that many writers don’t appear to be up to at this time. That’s right, I said it, and I’ll keep saying it until things continue to change for the better, not for the social justice-pleasing crowd that wants change ‘just because’. As much as many would love to defend writers that are eager to copy and paste their own ideas over legends that have been proven to be favorites of so many, the truth is that there are simply too many writers in Hollywood these days that are being allowed to utilize old ideas as a crutch to hide the reality that they’re not able to come up with anything original or innovative. Creativity isn’t dead in the business, thankfully, but there are simply too many writers that get away with using old ideas in a manner that is downright lazy, and it has become rather frustrating to those of us that still enjoy creating something that people might like, an idea that might follow one or more storylines, but is still new and doesn’t trample over anything else in order to exist.
There’s nothing wrong with a female Zorro, but as a legend that’s already been created so long ago, it’s preferable to see a continuation of said legend, not a lazy gender-swap that could possibly seek to reinvent something that already works as it is. The legacy of Zorro could easily see the mantle passed down from person to person until it becomes apparent that women will be included as well, and if that’s the case then so be it, every idea should remain fluid and versatile. But there’s a difference between keeping an idea fluid and flushing the idea to make way for something new.