The Legend of Zorro (2005): Where Was the Movie Filmed?

A sequel to the 1998 film ‘Mask of Zorro‘ ‘The Legend of Zorro’ chronicles the adventures of the titular swashbuckler nearly a decade after the events of the former film. The Martin Campbell directorial revolves around Alejandro de la Vega (Antonio Banderas), who, after spending the previous ten years battling inequality and injustice, is now faced with the most challenging obstacle — his troubled marriage! His wife, Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), has left Alejandro and sought solace in the arms of handsome French nobleman Count Armand (Rufus Sewell).

However, Alejandro is aware of something she is unaware of: Armand is the leader of a terrorist organization seeking to devastate the US. Alejandro, as well as his alter-ego, Zorro, must thus save two fronts: the county’s future as well as his marriage. The action-packed 2005 film features fantastic horseback riding with swordfights, swords against guns on trains, saving babies from burning barns, and also great visuals with vintage trains and beautiful bridges. Thus, one can’t help but be captivated by the backdrops. So, get your mask and cape on to get on this ride across the spots where the film was shot!

The Legend of Zorro Filming Locations

Although the action-adventure film is set in San Mateo Country in California, the filming of ‘The Legend of Zorro’ did not take place in the western US state. In fact, the production team shot the film primarily in Mexico in the second half of 2004. As per reports, a few sequences were also filmed in New Zealand in January 2005. In case you’re wondering about the specific locations where the movie was shot, here’s everything you need to know!

San Luis Potos, Mexico

A major portion of the film was shot in the city of San Luis Potos, located in the eponymous state in the northern part of central Mexico. The state capital is known for its decorated churches, old bridges, and breathtaking views of the enchanting green valleys. The site makes a perfect filming location due to the large estates in the region that resonated with the director’s vision of the film. The famous “burning scene,” the horseback chase scenes, the dance scenes, and several other scenes were captured here.

Image Credit: MyMovies_International/Dailymotion

In an interview with My Movies International, director Martin Campbell revealed the decision to choose San Luis Potos as the primary filming location. “The lesson I learned from the first one was that don’t travel around so much. So, we shot the whole movie over a 2-mile radius, where we built a whole townhouse in San Luis Potos and the whole studio around it. We used the outbuildings for the set and the whole houses for Antonio’s (Alejandro’s) ‘hacienda (Spanish for the large estate with a dwelling house).”

The director added, “I used the church that was in the place. We built San Francisco with the field next door. The whole thing was well-contained.” Apart from San Luis Potos, the production team taped a few scenes around the area. Hacienda Gogorron at 79500 Villa de Reyes, about an hour’s drive outside of the city, also served as one of the shooting sites. Other films that were shot in the exact location are ‘Point Break’ (2015), ‘Frida’ (2002), ‘The Mexican’ (2001), ‘El Topo’ (1970), among others. 

Wellington, New Zealand

After reportedly wrapping up the filming in Mexico, the second unit taped several shots and sequences in Wellington, New Zealand. The choice of location seemed quite natural, as Campbell is of Kiwi origin. Most of the sequences were shot at Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop. Oscar-winning Weta Workshop is known for its special effects expert Richard Taylor. He had worked in ‘King Kong,’ ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ ‘Heavenly Creatures,’ and others. The famous train fight and the blow-up scene in the film were shot in Wellington. 

Interestingly, the train was taken from a museum in Mexico, so it could not be blown! Thus, a model train of the same design was created in Weta Workshop and then blown up. Stone Street Studios at 1 Stone Street in Miramar, a suburb of Wellington. The studio complex has also served as a shooting site for ‘Avatar,’ ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ as well as the 2005 film ‘Krampus.’

Read More: Is The Legend of Zorro Based on a True Story?