Joss Whedon Talks Zak Penn’s Initial Script For The Avengers

Back in 2006, writer of good movies such as X2 and The Incredible Hulk and (really) bad movies Elektra and X-Men: The Last Stand Zak Penn was brought on to write the script for The Avengers. Some spoilers surfaced online last year, revealing that the Skrulls would be Loki’s army and were after the Tesseract to save their dying planet. Agent Coulson was revealed to be a Skrull (and was then killed), whilst Maria Hill was revealed to be the Skrull Empress Anelle, although whether those spoilers were actually true is unknown. When Joss Whedon was hired as Director in 2010, he wanted to do some re-writes and it was later revealed he completely re-wrote Penn’s script. Penn still received a story credit though, even though he contributed little to the finished product. In an interview with GQ, Whedon finally spoke out on Penn’s script, hinting that it was terrible.

“There was a script… There just wasn’t a script I was going to film a word of.”

“I needed that bedrock of certainty, so that when they asked me why something was [in the script], I could tell them exactly.”

When asked to comment, Penn replied with this:

“We could have collaborated more, but that was not his choice. He wanted to do it his way, and I respect that. I mean, it’s not like on the Hulk, where I got replaced by the lead actor. That was an unusual one. This was more normal.”

There he’s talking about The Incredible Hulk, in which lead star Edward Norton placed himself as Head Writer. Personally, I’d like to see some details of Penn’s script purely from a ‘What If?’ perspective, I’m a fan of those kind of things. Are you glad Penn didn’t write The Avengers, which is receiving critical acclaim? Sound off below.


I have been reborn amidst salt and smoke to lead UTF against the darkness. I'm also an amateur writer and filmmaker as well as having played the 16th Doctor and invented penicillin. Also, deceased.
  • Tom

    Yes. But out of morbid curiosity I’d like to read the Zak Penn script.