Actress/producer Salma Hayek has inked a deal to bring The Cisco Kid back to television in an updated re-imagining of the franchise. Hayek will serve as producer of this series which will be about an urban vigilante protecting the downtrodden who would otherwise be denied justice.
Now some who know their history will remember Cisco Kid as the first Latino hero to have success as a mainstream franchise. He's appeared in stories, comics, movies, and radio and television adaptations from the 1900s to the 1990s.
An interesting twist to the tale was that in his first appearance in O. Henry's 1907 short story "The Caballero's Way" he was neither heroic, being a sadistic outlaw and murderer, and he wasn't even Latino, having the last name of "Goodall."
But the vagaries of adaptation to the silver screen transformed the character forever. The Anglo villain Goodall became the Latino hero The Cisco Kid. Cisco went on to star in dozens of movies and serials, over a hundred episodes of television, and possibly even more episodes of radio. The last attempt to bring Cisco, and his sidekick Pancho, to the screen was a TV movie/backdoor pilot in 1994 starring Jimmy Smits in the title role.
So let's look at the PROS & CONS!
1. The success of similar show Person of Interest shows that there is some life in the urban vigilante genre.
2. Modern television audiences are probably even more ready for a Latino hero than they were back in the 1920s when he made his screen debut.
1. The idea of taking an old brand and trying to gloss it over with either modern trappings and/or special effects reeks of the sort of thinking that led to The Lone Ranger disaster.
2. Speaking of branding, Cisco Kid is perfectly fine as the nickname of a wandering Old West cowboy who just happens to find himself in the middle of an adventure wherever he and his sidekick go. As the secret identity of a modern urban vigilante, a la Batman, it sounds kind of silly.
3. Person of Interest does well because it takes what would have otherwise been a hacky premise into a meditation of surveillance, technology, the power inherent in information, the corruption that's attracted to such power, and a society that is both isolated and interconnected in ways never imagined. It takes the action drama to the next level.
I'm not sure if the people behind the modern urban Cisco Kid know what level they want to go to beyond offering TV budget imitations of big screen action movies.
Do you see any PROS & CONS that I might have missed? Then leave them in the comments.