Anthony Hopkins Refused to Work With Antonio Banderas in $375M Franchise Due to Back Pain Until $94 Million Paycheck Changed His Mind

Anthony Hopkins Refused to Work With Antonio Banderas in $375M Franchise Due to Back Pain Until $94 Million Paycheck Changed His Mind

The 1998 film, The Mask of Zorro, starring Anthony Hopkins is considered one of the best films in the Zorro franchise. Along with Hopkins, the film also stars Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Sturt Wilson. It was not only a commercial but also a critical hit at the time, and critics described it as “old-fashioned entertainment of the best sort.”

The Mask of Zorro (1998)
The Mask of Zorro (1998)

It also received two nominations at the 71st Academy Awards. However, Hopkins later shared that he would not have starred in the 1998 film as Zorro as he was suffering from some medical issues.

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Anthony Hopkins Initially Declined the Offer to Play Zorro

Starting his acting career in the 1960s, Anthony Hopkins has starred in many films. The 85-year-old actor has continued to work and is still a favorite among his fans. One of his many films also includes the 1998 film The Mask of Zorro, which received two Oscar nominations.

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Anthony Hopkins

However, he almost lost the role due to his back pain. The actor is reportedly known to love action movies and did not want to lose the part. While his back pain made it hard for him to portray Don Diego de la Vega, he was able to take the role after going through a laser operation.

The back pain could have been the result of an old back injury that flared while filming his 1997 film The Edge. He shared that the pain was so intense that he had to go through a tricky surgical process. “To fix my back, they had to move my vocal cords to get the shattered disk pieces out,” he said.

A still from The Mask of Zorro (1998)
A still from The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Hopkins further shared, “They took out three pieces of my back.” However, it did not deter his enthusiasm for action films, and he made sure to star in the 1998 film. Before him, Sean Connery and Raúl Juliá were considered for the part of Don Diego de la Vega.

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Quentin Tarantino Was Planning a Zorro Movie

Don Diego de la Vega has been around for years after he was originally introduced by Johnston McCulley in 1919. There have been multiple features following the masked vigilante, from books to TV shows to several movies and so many others.

Quentin Tarantino at an event
Quentin Tarantino

And the Oscar-winning director Quentin Tarantino has also expressed his wish to work with the character. Reports from 2019 suggest that the director wanted to make a Zorro film and even wrote a screenplay for the film. The Mask of Zorro star Antonio Banderas also shared that the Pulp Fiction director also approached him for the movie.

He shared that he was very excited to do the film, Tarantino. However, Jerrod Carmichael, who was working on the film’s screenplay, revealed that the project had been scrapped and is not moving forward.

The Mask of Zorro is available on Prime Video.

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Source: IMDb

Written by Laxmi Rajput

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.