Two of the major studios set up brand new sci-fi projects on Wednesday. First up, Paramount bought the rights to Clark Baker‘s short film Vessel with the aim to turn it into a feature. We covered it in June and it’s about a flight that goes frighteningly wrong. Stephen Susco (The Grudge, Red, Texas Chainsaw 3D) has been tapped to write the adaptation with Baker directing.

Then, over at Universal, they’ve just bought a still-untitled pitch from Zak Penn (The Avengers, X-Men The Last Stand) and Chris Morgan (Fast Five, Wanted) which is reportedly in the vein of Chronicle. Read more about both projects below.

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Want to see a sensual image of Catwoman from The Dark Knight Rises? How about a behind the scenes featurette on The Avengers? Which character did Joss Whedon force himself to cut from the film? What does Beyonce look like dressed as Spider-Man? Have props from Man of Steel revealed one of the film’s story lines? Does Brad Bird think The Incredibles can exist in the Marvel universe? How does one of the Man of Steel actors describe the film’s tone? Is Donald Glover happy about the influence he’s had on The Amazing Spider-Man? Read about all of this and more in today’s huge Superhero Bits. Read More »

As a huge fan of the original Karate Kid, I die a little bit inside anytime I see the three words “The Karate Kid” on my TV guide only to find it’s the 2010 remake with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. Apparently, though, I’m in the minority. The film was an absolute smash hit for Sony, grossing $176 million domestic and about $182 internationally. Of course, a sequel was immediately set into motion with screenwriters Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reif hired to craft a story. That was about a year and a half ago.

Zak Penn, the writer of X-Men: The Last Stand and The Incredible Hulk, has now been tapped to do a rewrite on The Karate Kid 2. Read more after the jump. Read More »

As the next phase of Marvel’s movie master plan begins to unspool at theaters worldwide – with Thor on May 6 followed by Captain America: The First Avenger on July 22 – attention will quickly turn towards Joss Whedon‘s superhero crossover film The Avengers. And if we’re talking Avengers, screenwriter Zak Penn is a man in the know. Penn, who had a hand in writing X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, Elektra, The Incredible Hulk and even Last Action Hero, wrote the initial screenplay for The Avengers even before Whedon came on board. It’s been rumored that, once he did come on board, Whedon did a bunch of his own work on that script, but Penn still has a better idea than most about what we can expect from the film come May 4, 2012.

Several blogs tried to extract some of that Avengers knowledge from Penn as he was promoting a new SyFy series he created called Alphas and they were semi-successful. As is the case with huge movies like this, Penn has signed a non-disclosure agreement and can’t say much, but he did talk about his excitement over Whedon, writing the script and more. Read his quotes after the break. Read More »

Rumor: The Avengers vs. The Skrulls?


It has been assumed for a while now that Marvel’s upcoming superhero team-up film The Avengers would follow the continuity of the original comic books run, and involve a plot where Loki would unleash the Hulk. Here is more information on that comic storyline from Wikipedia:

“Loki’s schemes eventually came to include Earth itself and these schemes often drew some of Earth’s superhuman heroes to defend Earth and, often, Asgard itself. He first battled Thor on Earth in modern times after escaping from the tree by making Heimdall shed a tear. Loki was then able to manipulate the Hulk into wreaking havoc in an attempt to lure Thor to Asgard, which inadvertently led to the formation of the Avengers. Thor was one of the founding members of this superhuman team, and Loki often found his goals frustrated by them, even when they appeared close to success.”

However, a new rumor claims that the shape-changing alien race known the Skrulls are being used as the main antagonists for The Avengers. Could this be true?

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The Avengers Has a Screenplay

Briefly: Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada has confirmed on Twitter that screenwriter Zak Penn has turned in a first draft of the big screen adaptation of The Avengers. The film currently has a release date scheduled for May 4th 2012.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Zak Penn Talks Continuity For Avengers Movie


Screenwriter Zak Penn has long been attached to Marvel’s Avengers movie, and he’s recently begun talking about the project, if only a little bit. SciFiWire quotes him from a panel at the Los Angeles Film Festival, where he spoke briefly about one of the most daunting aspects of the project: continuity. Read More »

Thor and The Avengers Progress Report


It feels quite odd to be reporting a story from Empire magazine that doesn’t reference their all-stops-pulled anniversary issue, but here we go. Proving that there is life after 20, Empire today published some tidbits gleaned from an interview with Marvel movie mogul Kevin Feige. Though they’re keeping back the Iron Man 2 material for the next print issue, they’ve webbed a pair of updates for Thor and The Avengers.

According to Feige, we can expect casting announcements on Thor in the next “month or so”, but not necessarily in the case of the lead:

We’re looking to cast Loki and Odin soon, and the main female role.

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Zak Penn’s The Argonauts

20th Century Fox has hired Zak Penn to write and produce (along with John Davis) a big screen adaptation of the classic Greek tale of The Argonauts. In Greek mythology, the Argonauts were a band of sailing heroes ,who accompanied by Jason to Colchis in his quest for the Golden Fleece. The story has been previously adapted by Don Chaffey in 1963, and in 2000 for Hallmark television. Dreamworks is also developing a project with the same title, about a group of treasure hunters who discover the wreck of Jason’s mythological ship, and are somehow transported back in time to ancient Greece.

Zak Penn broke onto the scene with a huge spec Last Action Hero (this is before it was rewritten). He went on to pen PCU, Beyond Enemy Lines, and is credited with the story of X2. That credit lead to five years of comic/geek-related projects, some of which were extremely disappointing (X-Men: The Last Stand) or insulting (Electra), leading to the loss of geek fan support. He most recently won lone credit for The Incredible Hulk, and is currently linked to Marvel Studio’s upcoming adaptations of The Avengers and Captain America films.

Discuss: Do you think the story of the Argonauts will translate well into a big screen movie?

source: Variety