Anthony Hopkins stars as Don Diego de la Vega, who as the masked swordsman Zorro was a champion of the Mexican people against the tyranny of 19th century Spanish rule, represented by the ruthless Governor Montero (Stuart Wilson). But Montero's thugs track him down and kill his wife, imprison him, and kidnap their daughter, Elena. Twenty years later, upon learning that Montero has returned to California intent on seizing power-and that his daughter has been raised as the Governor's child-Don Diego escapes from prison. Under Don Diego's guidance, an orphan who helped him as a boy, Alejandro (Antonio Banderas), is transformed into a new Zorro. Together they will reclaim Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and taste sweet revenge against Montero.