Steven Spielberg saw the CGI writing on the wall in 1998.
Producer Amblin Entertainment, which financed “The Mask of Zorro” that year, told star Antonio Banderas on set that the age of practical effects was dwindling.
“Steven Spielberg once said to me, while we were shooting, ‘This will probably be one of the last westerns shot the way westerns were shot in the old days, with real scenes with real horses, where everything is real, (real) fighting with the sword, no CGI’,” Banderas said Yahoo! Fun during an appreciation for the film’s 25th anniversary. “Everything was (practical).”
Banderas added: “And he said: ‘But things are going to change. They will change and change fast. And so you should be proud of this film.’ And they are, probably even more so now than at the time I was doing it.
The “Pain and Glory” alum added, “I don’t know if I was absolutely aware when I was making ‘Zorro’ that it was going to have an impact. The impact that had, and especially after 25 years… It was a beautiful adventure film with a lot of ingredients that made it shine in a very beautiful way. I have nothing but good memories.”
“The Mask of Zorro” helped skyrocket Banderas’ career in the United States. The actor reflected on his career in his whole up to the adventure film starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.
“It was very significant because my career up to that point was (mostly) European films, especially all the work I did with Pedro Almódovar,” Banderas said. “And suddenly I entered a completely different universe, a universe of action, a universe of international films that have been around the world. It was incredible…it was a huge success.”
Banderas and Zeta-Jones reunited for the 2005 sequel ‘The Legend of Zorro’. Banderas also teased that he would be open to revisiting the franchise for a third film.
“Obviously if I were to do another movie now, I would be playing the character (mentor) that Anthony Hopkins played in the first version,” Banderas said. “I (would be) the character who passes the baton to the new Zorro, which would be great, just to do that. But you know, if it comes, great. If not, you know, the other two are there forever.