The legendary Mexican hero returns to the screen in this swashbuckling sequel to the 1998 box-office hit The Mask of Zorro. It's 1850, and the people of California, eager to improve their difficult lot in life, have launched a campaign to become part of the United States. Don Alejandro de la Vega (Antonio Banderas) has become aware of a plot by moneyed Europeans to block the campaign for statehood through nefarious means, and it looks as if Alejandro's heroic alter ego, Zorro, may have to return to duty. However, Alejandro's wife, Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), has grown weary of his secret life, and she demands that he choose between his family and his clandestine career as a champion of the people. This leads to a rift between Alejandro and Elena, and the couple separates, with Alejandro moving out while Elena continues to care for their son, Joaquin (Adrian Alonso). A few months later, Alejandro finds that Elena is already being wooed by Armand (Rufus Sewell), a suave French nobleman who wants her hand in marriage. However, Alejandro also learns that Armand is actually part of a plot to prevent California from attaining statehood by tampering with an upcoming election; meanwhile, there may be more to Elena's involvement with Armand than romantic courtship. Zorro must come to the rescue of the people of California and perhaps his beloved Elena as well before they both fall into dangerous hands. The Legend of Zorro was directed by Martin Campbell, who performed the same duties on The Mask of Zorro.