6 March 2014 6:28 PM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Sony Pictures is moving forward with a planned reboot of the "Zorro" franchise based on Chilean author Isabel Allende's 2005 novel.

Fencer-turned-screenwriter Chris Boal, brother of Mark Boal ("Zero Dark Thirty," "The Hurt Locker"), has come onboard to rewrite a draft previously penned by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia.

The Zorro character first appeared in Johnston McCulley's 1919 novella "The Curse of Capistrano", Allende's work is an origin tale and prequel to the events of that story, and contains numerous references to other famous Zorro works including 1998's "The Mask of Zorro".

Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes are set to produce the film which aims to bring a "Batman Begins" style approach to the character with a new backstory, gritty realism and emotional elements.

The project is not to be confused with Fox's rival sci-fi take "Zorro Reborn" which puts the character in a "Mad Max"-esque apocalyptic wasteland.

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- Garth Franklin

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