Sony parry thrusts ‘Zorro’ into summer

“Zorro” is slashing its way into summer 1998.

In the latest studio scheduling parry, Sony has thrust its Antonio Banderas-Anthony Hopkins swashbuckler “The Mask of Zorro” from the pic’s original March date into late June or early July.

“We’ve seen it and we think it will be a big action-adventure with wide appeal,” said Jeff Blake, president of Sony Pictures Releasing. “It will give us a great one-two punch for the summer with ‘Godzilla.’ ”

The company will attach “Zorro” trailers to prints of “Godzilla,” the Roland Emmerich-helmed sci-fi extravaganza that debuts over the Memorial Day weekend.

High-profile films already skedded for the mid to late summer period include Fox’s “The X-Files” movie, Buena Vista’s “Mighty Joe Young,” “Armageddon” and the animated “Mulan,” Universal’s Brad Pitt starrer “Meet Joe Black” and “Out of Sight,” starring George Clooney.

Sony’s other summer releases include “The Stepmom,” with Julia Roberts, a live-action adaptation of kids classic “Madeleine,” Mandalay’s remake of “Gloria” starring Sharon Stone and the Betty Thomas-helmed “The Party.”