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Banderas Confirms 'Zorro' Sequel

LOS ANGELES ( -- Antonio Banderas plans to start swishing his sword again as the masked swashbuckler in a sequel to "The Mask of Zorro," which starts shooting in Mexico on July 26.

Banderas, who previously says he turned down $20 million to do a sequel to his 1998 action adventure hit, confirms he's on board and so is co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones as well as Martin Campbell, who directed the first film. Steven Spielberg is producing.

"I had actually a dinner [recently] with Martin Campbell and they're putting together the whole thing now," Banderas tells "This one is a little bit more mature. It still keeps the adventure feeling and it keeps us with a hero, which is I think fundamental for Zorro. It's more based in jealousy and concepts that are more for us than for kids."

Anthony Hopkins, who played Zorro's father in the first film, has expressed interest in continuing in the series even though his character dies in the first. Banderas says the writing team of Terry Russio and Ted Elliott (who also wrote "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Shrek") isn't including a place for Hopkins.

"Hopkins, no, because he got killed," the actor explains. "We have a bunch of new bad guys, but we don't know names yet."

Banderas voices the swashbuckling feline Puss in Boots in "Shrek 2," which opened this weekend, and he admits he played off his Zorro character for the animated role. He's ready and raring to play Zorro again.

"I'm in pretty good shape now, but what I have to do obviously is just to go back to the sword and to the horse," he says.

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