A present-day reimagining of the legend of Zorro is swashbuckling its way to USA Network.Titled “Z,” project is in development at the NBCUniversal cabler and hails from exec producers Naren Shankar and Louis Leterrier, and writers Whit Brayton and Zack Rice. Shankar, a scribe and exec producer on “CSI” and “Grimm,” would serve as showrunner while French helmer Leterrier, whose pics include “The Incredible Hulk” and “Clash of the Titans,” would direct several episodes. “Z” would be a script-to-series order, with a decision likely made in January or February. If USA, which has had the script for about a month, decides to greenlight, “Z” would go straight to series without a pilot. Set in modern-day Los Angeles, “Z” will chronicle the rise of Diego Moreno from an orphaned teen and raising his sister with little supervision, to an infamous hero fighting to save the city. Georgeville TV, which secured the rights to “Zorro” from John Gertz and Zorro Prods., is set to produce. Georgeville TV is financed by Indian conglom Reliance Entertainment and headed by Marc Rosen. The shingle made a splashy entrance in May when NBC announced a straight-to-series order for its 18th century pirate drama “Crossbones,” from “Luther” creator Neil Cross and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. The straight-to-series business plan is a trademark of Georgeville when shopping projects to broadcast and cable nets, as well as international markets. Georgeville also packages deals with creative talent already in place. “We want to fill the gap in helping U.S. networks and studios finance and produce high-end, costly projects more effectively,” Rosen said earlier this year. “We’re bringing the independent film-financing model to TV.” Shankar and Leterrier are represented by CAA. Brayton and Rice are represented by CAA, Anonymous Content and attorney Matt Rosen at Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson & Binder.
Data provided by:Nielsen Media Research (Preliminary Results)