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Two takes on X-MEN 2

Tapped to tackle the X-MEN 2 script, producer/scribe Zak Penn talks mutants (sort of)

By Eric Moro     July 23, 2001


Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) examines Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in X-MEN
© 2000 20th Century Fox

While promoting his work on OSMOSIS JONES at the Comic-Con International: San Diego, producer Zak Penn let loose his latest project screenwriting chores on the upcoming X-MEN 2. How can this be, cry loyal fan boys the world over? Apparently, both David Hayter and Penn have been tapped to try their hand at penning a mutant sequel.


"David Hayter and I are somewhat collaborating," says Penn. "I mean, we do talk and we know what the other person is doing. We are writing two separate scripts, but we are collaborating on it there's a lot of cross-pollination between what he's doing and what I'm doing. We're writing two different takes on the same idea."


Essentially, both screenwriters are working under an accelerated timeline to create their work and it is the best script that will go into production. However, the end product may very well be a melding of both writers' concepts. But in the end, Penn doesn't look at this as a competition.


"Let's be honest, the X-Men are pre-existing characters that are extremely strong," says Penn. "There's already a movie that's very strong. I'm not going to sit here and tell you I am the creator of X-MEN 2. I am a guy that they've hired to help come up with the concepts to the next movie and to execute them some way. I feel very humbled in the face of it. I'm not thinking, 'I'm going to write some brilliant opus that is going to become the X-MEN

While Penn remains tight-lipped as to the film's plot, he assures that fan opinion is being taken into consideration every step of the way through the film's production.


"I will say this, it is clear after you spend just one meeting with these people, that there's nobody involved who discounts the fans," says Penn. "Remember, I am a huge X-Men fan. I challenge anyone in terms of how long I've been a fan. I collected X-MEN when I was a kid and I remember the nights sitting up reading GIANT SIZED #1 through # 145. I've always loved the X-Men and it was kind of a dream to work on it. When they asked me to get involved with X-MEN I was like, 'I can't turn it down.' But with that said, for all the complaining you've read on the Internet --I can't believe how some of these rumors spread -- they act as though this movie is being controlled by producers who don't care. There are comic book properties that are like that, but that is not the case on X-MEN. This movie is as faithful to a comic book as any movie that's been made."

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