Speaking as part the Graphic Explosion
panel at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Incredible Hulk
screenwriter Zak Penn has been discussing his still in-progress script for the forthcoming Avengers
movie, as well as revealing that, if he had got his way, then X-Men: The Last Stand
would have been first full-scale Marvel movie crossover.
Currently scheduled for release on 4 May 2012, The Avengers
is set to be the culminating extravaganza of the present cycle of pictures from Marvel Studios, as it brings together characters from Iron Man
, as well as the upcoming Thor
and Captain America
flicks (both due summer 2011).
SCI FI Wire report that, having admitted he “might get in trouble” for the candidness of some of his remarks, Penn proceeded to explain the logistical challenges in coordinating his scripting efforts on The Avengers
with the plots of the movies featuring the individual team members.
“I’m taking a meeting next week with the Thor
and Captain America
people, and we are all going to get together, and I will see what is going to happen. I'll see where they are leaving the characters; it’s pretty complicated. There’s a board that is tracking what is happening.”
Penn also noted that his desired story for the third X-Men
movie was that it would feature an appearance from none other than The Fantastic Four, but 20th Century Fox nixed the idea. However, with Marvel now responsible for producing its own movies, there are no such difficulties in bringing the various members of their comic book universe together in a single film.
“They want to see that they’re all connected, not like the Fantastic Four can't come into the X-Men world, like I was told... Marvel is autonomous now. It is night and day. Everyone has read every comic. They know how to make a cool movie.”
Personally speaking, I’m not entirely convinced that what X-Men: The Last Stand
really needed was even more characters being hurled into the already bursting-at-the-seams mix. If anything, that movie would have benefitted from considerable more light, and rather less in the way of heat. Still, it is encouraging to hear Penn and his collaborators at Marvel are planning well-ahead in trying to ensure The Avengers
ties in with the studio’s other franchises, even if the writer did strike a downbeat note of caution about how the completed movie might turn out; "We all have the best intentions, and it still might suck."
Speaking earlier this month, Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige remarked that The Avengers
would feature an appearance from the Hulk, in spite of the disappointing reception of both previous movies starring the jolly green giant. And he also noted that there would in all likelihood be roles for such ancillary characters as Loki (set to be played by Tom Hiddleston in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor
), the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man II
), and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson from Hulk
and Iron Man
). Which is all very exciting for comic book fans I suppose, but leaves Zak Penn with something of a Sisyphean task on his hands as he attempts to knit all those characters and name-cameos into a coherent, satisfying movie, and not the spandex-clad answer to It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Sources: Dark Horizons, SCI FI Wire, Reelzchannel, Newsorama