Published On: Mon, Apr 18th, 2011

‘The Avengers’ writer Zak Penn: ‘I’m excited’, takes credit for Hawkeye

Saturday, at the NBCUniversal Summer Press Day, “The Avengers” writer spoke out about the film, revealed a few more details and really addressed the stress of writing such a ‘high-profile’ script.

Penn wasted no time to verbally support the director, Joss Whedon: “Do you believe in Joss Whedon? I believe in him. If you believe in Joss, you should be excited.”

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye photo/Marvel Studios

“I grew up reading X-Men. When I first got to Hollywood and sold my first script, the first thing I said was, “Can I write the X-Men movie?” At the time, I can’t remember if Marvel was owned by foreign nationals, or what was going on. But, I’ve always been into comic books. And, I’ve always really been into science fiction. I grew up on Cameron and Spielberg, and a very naturalistic sense of science fiction, and even the comic books I liked were the ones that were the most real and that bled over into reality the most. That’s more where my heart lies.”

“You’ve got to just try to put your head in the sand and write the best story you can. It is literally impossible to please everybody. You can’t please fans who don’t agree with each other anyway. You go read a message board and there’s 80 opinions about what should happen with every character. That’s a fool’s errand, so you try not to do it, but it is pretty hard.”

Penn discussed some history with Jeremy Renner, now cast to play Hawkeye, and how Renner came on board of “The Avengers.”

“To be fair, I think he is in The Avengers because I pushed them. I said, “We’ve got to get Jeremy Renner for that part!” Him being a cool guy came full circle, in that he’s gotten what he deserves. So many people have loved his work. At first, everyone was like, “Who’s Jeremy Renner?” And, I was like, “Trust me, he’s awesome!” Now, he is Hawkeye and he’s in “Mission: Impossible”, and everything else.”

The writer mentioned the “non-disclosure agreement” to put up some barriers to the questions.

“I always point out to people that “The Avengers” is the first superhero movie I’ve ever done. With X-Men, The Hulk and even Elektra, none of those are really superhero characters. They’re all from a science fiction premise. The Hulk is not a superhero at all, and Elektra is an assassin. “The Avengers” is the first legitimate superhero movie I ever wrote, ironically.”

Before the success of the Bryan Singer “X-Men” films, Penn was already writing and working in Hollywood.

“‘The Last Action Hero’ was my first script.”


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