Exclusive: Kevin Pennington on Marvel Casting Rumors

With plenty of big surprise announcements for upcoming comic book movies on the way on the eve of Comic-Con 2010's preview night, all in the midst of casting rumors for every superhero franchise in development, one man has made quite a few headlines during it all. Kevin Pennington is a name perhaps unfamiliar to you but he's been linked with recent rumors for parts in plenty of upcoming superhero projects, ranging from The Avengers to X-Men: First Class.

So we thought it would be a good idea to go straight to the source and sort out the rumors to see what's true and what isn't - and to put an end to some of the unfounded reports out there.

Over the last two weeks, Kevin and I have spoken and he was kind enough to conduct an interview with us to go over the facts and talk about something we all love: Comic book movies!

Here's what Kevin had to say:

Screen Rant: There are a ton of rumors out there, mixing your name in with seemingly every studio that owns a Marvel Comics property - is there truth to any of these or are they mostly made-up?

Kevin: I don't think I’ve read every rumor, but I've tried my best to debunk the ones I got a lot of text messages about. (laughs) I think so far I’ve debunked 4 or 5 roles on my twitter.

I saw you debunk a couple of characters from The Avengers - they were some of the earliest rumors.

Yeah, I was trying to get the interest to die down. There wasn't really much to talk about regarding any potential role at that point. The last thing I wanted to do was be quiet and lead people on or try to garner more attention for myself by speculation. There are enough people in the industry who already do that.

Did you ever expect that making the move to Hollywood in your early twenties would see you in talks and/or rumored for so many key roles in the biggest of blockbuster films?

I never expected anything like this to happen. I've always said that if I could make a living doing something that I enjoyed to do, I would have a great life and be more than content. I feel very blessed to even be talking to some of these studios, especially since I am a big fan of this genre.

I understand you're a bit of a movie geek yourself - must be somewhat gratifying to see positive responses from fans on sites you read to the idea of you playing some of the roles (I read some good feedback on the idea of you playing Hawkeye, for example)

I tried to stay away from most of the stories and comments about me since people can be pretty evil on the internet (laughs). My dad emailed me a link to one website and told me to look for the comment he made about me... it was the most negative comment on that page. (laughs) Thanks dad!

Can you offer any clarification regarding which comic book movie projects you’ve been discussing with studios?

I think I've met with almost every major studio in some capacity that’s producing a comic film. (laughs) It’s mostly just going in for readings or for them to meet me. I don’t want people to think I have studios fighting over me though, I’m no big deal. This is a pretty common process that a lot of actors go through if they have a good agent.

A lot of the rumors center around roles for upcoming Fox properties including X-Men: First Class which shoots next month and the Fantastic Four reboot which we expect to hear more about soon. Have you had any meetings for parts in these?

I’ve talked to some key people about some projects, but I think that’s all I’m allowed to say at this point. I’m pretty sure somebody is watching me right outside this window with a sniper. (laughs)

I know you’re a bit of X-Men fan, if you could pick any specific characters to play which mutant would you be?

Well my favorite character is Gambit, but I know the actor who portrayed him so I can’t say I want to be Gambit. (laughs) I would love to play any character that brings the right balance of complexity and excitement to the screen, one who embraces his gift and has fun with it.

Some of your recent tweets have focused on some DC Comics properties as well. Has there been any movement for potential parts in upcoming Warner Bros. projects?

Well I’m a fan of both companies; I think a lot of people are. Hopefully something can materialize over at DCE in the future; I’m a big fan of their work. I am filming a movie for Warner Bros. at the moment so you never know... (laughs)

How about Sony? They recently announced Andrew Garfield as the new face of the Spider-Man franchise and we’ve seen tweets from you about a certain character…

You know? I’m really excited about Webb’s Spidey. I think he’s going to do a phenomenal job and I’m really looking forward to a fresh take on the franchise. I’m really glad Andrew booked the role; I know he’s going to do an awesome job.

The comic book movie fan base can be a difficult group to please, especially in bringing characters to life from the books – does that affect your thinking when it comes to how to portray a given character?

Definitely, I, like many fans, want faithful adaptations of these characters on the big screen. I’ve already talked to some studios about potential roles and the first thing I do is research the character on my own. But, I do realize that studios make their decisions based on what will work best on the big screen and will have to adapt to that if need be.

Speaking of which, are you going to be at Comic-Con?

Yeah! I’m hoping to be there on Saturday to cover Sony’s PS3 DC Universe Online exclusive game event for their PS Plus service. I say hoping because I will be in the middle of filming a movie during convention time. I’ll let everyone know via twitter. (laughs)

A few of us from our sister site were there at E3 when Sony announced the new service. What kind of footage are you bringing?

My stuff for PS Plus is strictly just hosting specific events, interviewing game developers, sneak peeks at new games, etc. that’s a bonus incentive for subscribers.

Cool. We’ll have a team there from Game Rant so we’ll send some your way.

You’ve seen the recently released photos for Thor and Green Lantern, which are you more excited about and do you have any predictions on what surprise announcements we may witness at the convention?

All I can say is 2011 will be a guaranteed year for good comic book movies. They, along with Captain America and First Class, look really awesome... and I’m stoked for them all.

I hear you’re also in a band. When will we hear more about that and what other projects Kevin Pennington has on the go?

Yeah, I sing lead in a rock group (signed to Island Def Jam records) and we’ve been busy in the studio working. We’re coming up with some great things and have some really amazing producers on board so we’re really excited about it. Plus, I think the guys in the band are all amazing musicians. We’re hoping to have our first single out in December. I’m doing a couple of films in the meantime; I’m working on a big ensemble comedy and just wrapped a horror flick. Plus there are the long awaited comic book films... (laughs)

Thanks for your time, Kevin.

Thanks Rob! You're my favorite Canadian!

We can now kill of a lot of the unfounded rumors out there; Mr. Pennington has not yet signed for any roles for any specific comic book movie.

You can however, see Kevin next summer in the upcoming Warner Bros Studio comedy, Horrible Bosses, which stars Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Jason Sudeikis and Jamie Foxx.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Header image edited from art by Wayne Nichols.

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