One of Antonio Banderas' biggest action roles every just left the Paramount+ catalog shortly after arriving. The Legend of Zorro departed its movie section on May 1, meaning it's gone now. Fans of the swashbuckling masked vigilante will need to look elsewhere for their fill.
The Legend of Zorro is Banderas' second time playing the 19th century hero and is a direct sequel to The Mask of Zorro. It stars Banderas as a young man taking up the mantle of Zorro from a predecessor who had already made the name a legend. Both movies also star Catherine Zeta-Jones as the daughter of the previous Zorro and the wife of Banderas' character, whose name changes throughout the saga.
Fans who seek out these movies will be treated to obscure North American historical facts, with plenty of fictitious elements added for dramatic effect. They start in 1821 when Anthony Hopkins plays the previous man to hold the mantle of Zorro – a Spanish-born nobleman named Don Diego de la Vega. He fights anonymously in the Mexican War of Independence, but he makes a lot of enemies and is eventually imprisoned for his actions. He escapes 20 years later and finds a kindred spirit in Banderas' character, Alejandro Murrietta, so they train and plot their revenge together.
They get their revenge in that movie, and Alejandro takes on the role of Zorro while marrying Diego's estranged daughter. The sequel picks up nine years later in 1850. At the time, California is voting on whether or not to join the United States of America. Meanwhile, Murrieta is now going by the name of Don Alejandro De La Vega while moonlighting as Zorro.
The movie features a mix of action tropes drawn from westerns, war movies and adventure stories. It has a fair bit of interesting history which is frustratingly mixed with fiction in a way that makes it hard to discern for the average viewer. Nevertheless, those who like other stories set in the 19th century will find few anachronisms here.
Of course, some fans thought that Banderas and Zeta-Jones would lead the Zorro franchise even further, but that never came to pass. However, Banderas may be reprising his role soon in a roundabout way. Back in 2019, Quentin Tarantino began work on a crossover between his film Django Unchained and the Zorro movies, with standup comedian Jerrod Carmichael co-writing the script. It's unclear if this project is still in active development.