Next to David Goyer, Zak Penn is probably the most prolific comic book movie writer in the industry, having been at least partly responsible for X2, Elektra, X-Men: The Last Stand, and The Incredible Hulk.
Recently, Zak Penn gave an interview wherein he discussed his work on the original script for The Avengers, causing many a Marvel fan to wonder how much of the forthcoming film’s script was written by Penn and how much was written by director Joss Whedon. Well, Whedon fans, fear not – regardless of how much work Penn did on a version of the script, Joss Whedon is the sole writer on The Avengers.
Earlier this week, Zak Penn was asked – by Coming Soon – how he felt about how The Avengers was developing, to which Penn said:
“Do you believe in Joss Whedon? Do you believe in him? I believe in him! That's my comment. If you believe in Joss you should be excited. Actually Joss and I went to the same college so we have a long history. I'm very excited. I can't wait to see what happens with it, you know. And it's weird because [my upcoming TV show] Alphas is kind of almost the inverse. If you know the comic book world, this is kind of the flipside of something like The Avengers, so it will be weird next year to have Avengers coming out while I'm working on this show.”
When asked, to the best of his knowledge, how much input the cast of The Avengers had with regard to the dialogue in the script, Penn said:
“I can't [speak to that]! I can't speak very much…I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement for Avengers, so I can't really speak about it too much. I'm pretty limited. I just can't answer any of it because I'm not allowed to. I have a big mouth, too, but they made me sign a contract.”
While Zak Penn doesn’t explicitly say he was involved with the shooting draft for The Avengers, he doesn’t exactly deny being involved, either. Due to the oversensitive nature of the Internet, fans wondered – could this mean that Joss Whedon wasn’t the single solitary screenwriter for every sentence, paragraph, and page of the Avengers screenplay, as they’d hoped and dreamed for so long?
Well, according to Badass Digest, no, it does not mean that. Regardless of the work Zak Penn did on his draft of The Avengers, it’ll have little to nothing to do with Joss Whedon’s draft. Indeed, Whedon did a page-one rewrite, so barring similar producer’s notes and, you know, coincidence, there will likely be no similarity between the two drafts.
Badass Digest further speculates that Writer’s Guild issues may have something to do with why Penn didn’t say outright, “Look, guy, I can’t comment on The Avengers because I didn’t write a word of it,” which sounds possible (if not entirely plausible). Nevertheless, the point is – Joss Whedon wrote your precious Avengers film, Internet, so fret no more.
The Avengers, which is shooting currently, hits theaters May 4th, 2012.