Zak Penn, who wrote the original story and script for Joss Whedon's Avengers movie - and who helped land Jeremy Renner the role of Hawkeye - has revealed he's working on the script for yet another Marvel film. The scribe, whose next credit is Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One, has certainly built up a significant amount of nerd cred over the course of his career.
With writing and story credits for films such as X2: X-Men United, Elektra, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers, Penn has made his mark on the superhero genre in a way not many can match. While talking to Screen Rant about his work with superhero films (he explains that he did write a draft of Suicide Squad 2 as a favor), Penn gave us an update on some of his upcoming projects.
In part one, Penn gave some insight into his plans for The Matrix movie (and potential universe) in development. Now in part two, Penn let slip some exciting news: he’s about to begin work on a screenplay for a Marvel film.
Zak Penn: I think I’m probably gonna come back. I think I’m gonna do one more Marvel, one more project in the Marvel Universe. I’m about to start doing, but...I have to check and see if I’m allowed to say what it is. For the most part I had a long run on comic book movies and I was kind of eager to, you know, just cause it can be really crushing, you know, at times...
Marvel hits all sorts of different genres with their comic book movies.
Penn: Here’s the thing. Give them credit; I remember Kevin Feige saying like 13 years ago that he wanted to do Guardians of the Galaxy so he could do something with a totally different tone and he hopefully would get there. When I was at Marvel, we were just trying to get..I mean they asked, “What movie do you want to write?” and I said the Avengers and it was always just about getting to the Avengers, you know? So I agree that now...like I was getting sick of comic book movies, honestly, I was getting really sick of them, until this past year. I mean I thought Logan is the best X-Men movie that’s been made and I thought Deadpool was one of the better superhero adaptations ever and so I applaud them for spreading their wings.
Ironically enough, it seems that Penn who has a long history of helping develop superhero films, was suffering from the much talked about “superhero fatigue.” Fortunately, Marvel Studios and Fox have made efforts to break the mold through their recent films. The films mentioned by Penn, Deadpool and Logan, were lauded for their more adult take while the more recent fare from Marvel Studios, Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther, delivered a game changing take on a legendary character and introduced the masses to one of Marvel’s preeminent characters and became a cultural phenomenon.
Unfortunately, Penn thought better than to continue talking about the project to which he was alluding in the interview. It’s possible that he could be developing a script for either Fox or Marvel Studios. Outside of Deadpool 2, X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants, Fox has scheduled dates for 6 untitled Marvel-related films. We they already have writers developing X-Force, Gambit, Doctor Doom and a Kitty Pryde film among other projects, so if Penn is working for Fox, he would be working on something outside of those known properties. Little is known about the upcoming slate for Marvel Studios beyond Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, though we do know Jac Schaeffer is working on a screenplay for a Black Widow solo film. If Penn is crafting something for Marvel Studios, it would appear that it’s something that has yet to have been revealed to the public.
Interestingly enough, Penn revealed that in addition to his Matrix passion project and the yet to be revealed Marvel property, he’s also been tapped to scribe an adaptation of another comic book property. We’ll have more on that film and what the future holds for Penn in part three of our exclusive interview.
We've reached out for more information on Penn's Marvel project.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018