Zak Penn Concedes Joss Whedon’s Avengers ‘Turned Out Better’

Original Avengers screenwriter Zak Penn, who previously expressed disappointment that Joss Whedon tossed out his draft and started from scratch, now concedes the director’s script is better than the one he started working on six years ago.

“I think it turned out better. I think he did a fantastic job,” Penn tells CraveOnline. “I mean, look, I think that it’s very similar in terms of what we imagined in our head, what the movie would be like and what characters would be in it. Kevin Feige was working on it all the way through so he’s the person to ask the most. He’d tell you this is what we hoped the movie would be, but most of the time you hope the movie’s going to be this good and it turns out very crappy, so it’s really a relief when you hope the movie’s going to turn out well and it’s a great movie.”

Penn, who shares a “story by” credit with Whedon on The Avengers, also co-wrote X-Men: The Last Stand and was famously replaced by star Edward Norton as writer of The Incredible Hulk.

When GQ asked Whedon about The Avengers script shortly before the release of Marvel’s billion-dollar blockbuster, the director acknowledged, “There was a script. There just wasn’t a script I was going to film a word of.” Reached for comment, Penn responded, “”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.”

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Comments

  • Mythos

    It takes guts to get your work publicly embarassed and still willingly admit that you consider the replacement better. Zak Penn has earned my respect.

  • ATK

    Ahhh Zak Penn, I could write a better X-Men or Avengers film than you and I’m a delusional nerd with no practical writing experience. That’s how bad your movies have been. So your admitting Joss wrote a better movie than you, are you surprised? If so you have got to be the only one who is surprised by that.

  • Ramone

    Well….you were right about the “delusional” part.

  • kalorama

    I don’t see how his work was “publicly embarrassed.” Just because Whedon changed the script doesn’t mean the script was terrible. It just means it was a script that Whedon didn’t like as is. Another director may have thought differently. Script rewrites are just par for the course in Hollywood. Any writer who curled up into a ball weeping every time his stuff got rewritten wouldn’t last long in the business.

  • jrau18

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

    Translation: It was shit.

    This wasn’t just a rewrite. He tossed the entire thing out and started from scratch.

  • cboulanger

    Keep in mind that Whedon more than any other director would have very strong feelings about the writing, more so with something comics-relate. So Penn’s script might not have been bad, it just wasn’t in sync with Whedon’s vision.