The story is set in the early part of the 19th century, when California, as a part of Mexico, was ruled by tyrannical Spanish rulers. Zorro is a superhero from California who wears a mask and saves its people from the oppression. Although he is known as 'Zorro', in real life he's Don Diego De La Vega (Anthony Hopkins), a wealthy nobleman of California. In a tragic twist of fate, Zorro's daughter Elena (Catherine Zeta Jones) is taken captive and raised by his enemy, the Spanish governor of California, Don Montero. After 20 years of captivity, Zorro returns to challenge Don Montero. Zorro has aged, but this time he's not alone. He trains a young thief (Antonio Banderas), who is full of passion and vengeance himself, to be his successor. Together they lead an inspiring battle to end Montero's sinister plans.