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Posted 10/17/2005 8:40 PM
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Z is for red-hot 'Zorro' premiere
LOS ANGELES — A flaming Z lit up the red carpet at Sunday's premiere of The Legend of Zorro.

The sequel to 1998's The Mask of Zorro opens in theaters Oct. 28 and finds Antonio Banderas' masked avenger on the outs with Mrs. Zorro (Catherine Zeta-Jones). But there were no signs of strife between Banderas and his real-life wife, Melanie Griffith, who walked the red carpet hand-in-hand.

Gone are the long thick locks that Banderas, 45, sports as Zorro, which is just fine by his wife. "It's not about the hair for me," said Griffith, 48.

Zeta-Jones, 36, walked the red carpet in a Dolce & Gabbana gown accented by wrap-around black lace and a bright red flower. "After 4½ months wearing my Zorro dresses, I was happy to do without the corset tonight," she said. "I thought this dress was Zorro-esque, but not too over the top."

Husband Michael Douglas was "in Hawaii filming a movie (You, Me and Dupree with Owen Wilson)," explained Zeta-Jones, who left the premiere immediately after her red-carpet duties to fly to New York, where she'll begin rehearsals as host of this weekend's Saturday Night Live.

Mexican actor Adrian Alonso, 11, who plays Zorro's son, Joaquin, speaks little English and depended on his 14-year-old brother, Antonio, to translate reporters' questions. What did Adrian think of Zeta-Jones? "Mmmm," he smiled. "I like it very much."

Having completed his second Zorro adventure, director Martin Campbell is now focusing his attention on Casino Royale, the next James Bond film, set to begin shooting in January.

With Daniel Craig confirmed as the new 007, the director has moved on to casting the other roles. Campbell, who directed 1995 Bond film GoldenEye, is in discussions with Judi Dench about reprising her role as boss woman M, but he said that John Cleese as gadget inventor Q and Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny will not return.

Zeta-Jones worked with Craig on 1992's Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert for TV and said he'll be a "fabulous" Bond.

"Daniel Craig is not only an exceptional actor, but he also looks dangerous. And we all sometimes forget that James Bond has a license to kill."

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