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Sony planning ‘Zorro’ sequel

Stars, helmer set to return; pic eyes spring 2004 start

Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are planning to reprise their roles in a sequel to “The Mask of Zorro.”

Sony is eyeing a spring 2004 start, with Martin Campbell returning as director. Anthony Hopkins also is considered likely for an encore.

The studio is moving toward a production start after getting a strong script from Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, exec producers of the TV drama “Alias.” Zeta-Jones is coming off “Intolerable Cruelty,” and Banderas just starred in the Broadway revival of musical “Nine.”

Campbell, whose pic “Beyond Borders” just saw release, has been developing a sequel to the 1998 film for several years. The first launched the career of Zeta-Jones.

Zeta-Jones’ WMA reps and Banderas’ and Hopkins’ CAA reps expect to seal deals shortly that will put the masked swordsman back in swashbuckling mode. The original was produced by Doug Claybourne and David Foster and exec produced by Steven Spielberg, Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald.

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