Antonio Banderas in Mask of Zorro

Given the pace at which old properties are being revived these days, the only surprising thing about Sony’s planned Zorro reboot is that it’s taking them this long. But it’s better late than never, and now the project is gaining some serious steam.

The studio has just signed playwright and screenwriter Chris Boal to pen the script. The new movie is described as being in the vein of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, because of course it is. More details after the jump.

According to Deadline, who broke the news, the new Zorro will be “less traditional swashbuckler, and more of a Dark Knight-style unveiling of the character with a new backstory, gritty realism and emotional core.” But don’t worry, there’ll still be plenty of swordplay, along with “swords, daggers, grappling, bare knuckles,” and Europe martial arts.

We first got wind of the Zorro reboot in 2011 when Sony began registering domains for the titles The Forging of Zorro, Zorro Begins, and Zorro: The Legend Begins. There’s no word on whether any of those names are still in the running, but any one of them would fit the description above.

Progress on the project has been pretty quiet since then. With Boal on board, though, it looks healthier than ever. There are still several stages to get through before the film hits theaters, but hiring a screenwriter is an important first step. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who are also behind Sony’s upcoming Men in Black reboot, are producing.

Boal apparently some experience with swordplay, having competed in fencing on a national level when he was younger. As a screenwriter, he’s worked on Paramount’s adaptation of the sci-fi novel Old Man’s War, Warner Bros.’ Viking epic Vanguard, and Warner Bros.’ sword-and-sandal Caesar. He also happens to be the brother of Hurt Locker scribe Mark Boal.

On the one hand, it’ll be fun to see the classic dashing hero back in action again. On the other hand, does the world really need another Dark Knight-esque origin story. But we’re at a point where even Santa Claus can’t escape the trope. Zorro never stood a chance.

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