The Mask of Zorro (1998) Poster


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Anthony Hopkins impersonates Bernardo, Zorro's butler in the original stories. Zorro was a major inspiration for Batman, and Bernardo became the butler Alfred Pennyworth. Hopkins was also offered this role in Batman Begins (2005).
Originally, Anthony Hopkins refused the part of Don Diego de la Vega because he had too much pain in his back. A laser operation made an end on the pain and made it possible for him to accept the part.
Antonio Banderas was extremely adamant about performing nearly all his own stunts for the purposes of authenticity. The only shot that was a stunt double is the one of Alejandro leaping over a horse and kicking the guard during the chase scene.
Not only was Joaquin Murrieta an historical figure, he is widely believed to be the inspiration for the original literary character Zorro.
Sean Connery turned down the part later played by Anthony Hopkins.
In order to accomplish the effect of Elena's dress falling off from being sliced up by Zorro, a wire was attached to the dress to pull the dress off. (See also the goofs section.)
When Montero goes to the prison to seek out Zorro, several of the prisoners claim to be Zorro in a scene reminiscent of a similar scene in Spartacus (1960). Anthony Hopkins provided the voice of Crassus during the restoration of the earlier film.
Shakira was offered the role of Elena.
According to an account in book "Tales from the Script" (2010) by Peter Hanson and Paul Robert Herman, David S. Ward rewrote approximately 85% of the dialogue here, but received no screen credit, a predicament that spawned enough controversy to merit a front page article in the Los Angeles Times.
Robert Rodriguez was originally attached to direct, but the studio didn't agree with his much-more violent and R-rated proposal.
Raul Julia was originally supposed play Diego de la Vega but died before he could take the role.
Andy Garcia was considered for the role of Alejandro Murrieta.
Robert Rodriguez wanted Salma Hayek to play Elena.
The mask Alejandro puts on just before he steals the horse he made from the same scarf he had earlier unwrapped from the horse's front leg.
After watching The Red Squirrel (1993), Stanley Kubrick advised Steven Spielberg to hire Julio Medem to direct this movie. Spielberg contacted Medem but the Spanish filmmaker rejected the job and preferred to keep working in more personal projects.
Contrary to false claims, Antonio Banderas is not the first Spanish actor to portray Zorro. Spanish actor José Suárez portrayed Zorro several decades earlier in the 1953 film La montaña sin ley (1953), who is followed by another Spanish actor Carlos Quiney in three 1970s films La última aventura del Zorro (1969), El Zorro de Monterrey (1971), and Zorro, Rider of Vengeance (1971). Banderas is also not the first Latino to play Zorro; he is preceded by other Latinos such as Rafael Bertrand (1964), Rodolfo de Anda (1976), and Henry Darrow (1980s).
Izabella Scorupco was offered the lead female role but turned it down.
Despite the fact that this was filmed with J-D-C anamorphic lenses, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits.
Catherine Zeta-Jones was cast at the suggestion of Steven Spielberg who had enjoyed her work in the Titanic (1996) mini-series.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

At the end when Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas) confronts Capt. Love he pulls his sword out and the sun glints off the blade running the full length. This was not CGI and in fact was suggested by Banderas. He had to tilt the sword to catch the sun without breaking eye contact with Love. It only took 3 takes.
Joaquin Murieta, Antonio Banderas's character's brother, and Three-fingered Jack were real life bandits in Northern California at the time of the 1849 Gold Rush. Joaquin Murieta was a Mexican born in Sonora who moved to California to find his fortune. But after being beaten and robbed by American gold miners, he swore that he would avenge his dishonor. He was the lead in a group of bandits in the California wilderness, killing anyone who stood in their way. His life was the stuff of legend, used by Mexicans as a source of patriotism and by Americans as reason enough to hang anyone who spoke Spanish. Three-fingered Jack was actually a Mexican by the name of Manuel Garcia, who was Murieta's side kick. Murieta was supposedly killed on July 18, 1853 by Captain Harry Love who preserved Murieta's head in a jar of alcohol, along with Three-fingered Jack's hand as proof that the bandit was dead.
In Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio's original draft of the screenplay, Don Diego was not killed, and lived to tell the story of Zorro's adventures to his granddaughter.
The DVD includes an alternate ending where Alejandro and Elena meet General Santa Anna while walking away from the mine with all the rescued prisoners. Joaquim de Almeida plays Santa Anna in this scene.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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