Zak Penn talks about new Matrix films (Not a Matrix Reboot!)


  • So I won't lie, as much as I like the direction that Zak Penn seems to be going with this, I do worry that it's, you know, Zak Penn. I love Incident at Loch Ness and X2 and really like The Incredible Hulk, but in all three of those cases, he acted as a co-writer with someone else...but granted, the exact same thing can be said for Elektra and X3. I guess it just makes me nervous, as someone who has a lot invested in this series, to see ANYONE take a stab at a new entry, you know? It would probably have to be freaking Christopher Nolan to make me NOT get nervous, and even then...I don't know. I guess for me, if there's a new movie, I just want it to be great, you know? And for whoever does it to be the absolute best talent possible. What do you all think?
  • I completely agree. Zak Penn is a toss up for me as well. That said, I am willing to give him a chance. We don't know yet who is directing it, which will play a large part of the vision of the film. Plus, he wrote Ready Player One and Spielberg directed it. Spielberg can be hit or miss himself, but I mostly enjoy his work.
  • Yea I am nervous but more hopeful now I know it's not a reboot.
  • I'm definitely hopeful for Ready Player One, although I just looked it up and it looks like he's again listed as a cowriter. That's what's weird about Penn's work–for the most part, he seems to do almost solely co-writing work, which makes it hard to get a gauge as far as how he is as a solo screenwriter. Which, as I'm typing this now, makes me realize that actually is as much of a good sign as a bad sign, right? I mean, he could be the most amazing screenwriter ever and the PERFECT guy to pick up the baton for the franchise–we really won't know until we see the finished product, I guess.

    I agree, EVERYISMS, and am more hopeful about it not being a reboot either. I think it's interesting that Penn points out that "People who know Animatrix and the comics understand." I think that's our best insight into what his mindset towards the franchise is, which is definitely comforting. Do you guys think the Wachowskis will end up getting involved at all in this...and another question: do you think they should?

  • I don't know if the Wachowskis will end up involved in the project at all... and I don't really think they should more than just an endorsement. Take the Lucas approach and give the new creators room to breathe.

    As for Zak Penn, one thing to keep in mind is he's been asked to write a treatment. That's not the same as a screenplay, as far as I know.

    I've also seen it reported on another website that Warner has put together a "Writer's Room" for the Matrix, and that the "Young Morpheus" story is one of the ideas being tossed around by those involved.

    I'm not sure where the information about each of these things came from, or if there is some insider at Warner Bros. providing this information.

    All of that to say, if Penn does co-write most of his screenplays, then perhaps he knows his own limitations and asks for a collaborator on all of his writing. That's a good sign to me, if he's the reason for the co-writers.
  • Good points. The fact that he's writing a treatment vs. a screenplay is a good thing to point out, I totally overlooked that. I saw the thing about the Writer's Room as well, I think it was on Birth Movies Death– They seem to be pretty reliable when it comes to rumors. I guess we'll find out...
  • It's basically a beat-for-beat walkthrough of the story, as opposed to an official script. Google defines it as "a piece of prose, typically the step between scene cards (index cards) and the first draft of a screenplay for a motion picture, television program, or radio play."
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