Zatanna scribe Emerald Fennell on the possibility of directing the DC film
Last week, it was confirmed that Promising Young Woman director Emerald Fennell has been tapped to pen the screenplay for DC Films and Bad Robot Productions’ upcoming live-action Zatanna movie and in a recent interview with Variety, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker has finally opened up about her involvement in the new superhero project.
When asked about the possibility of taking on the directing duties on the film, which she says is still in the early stages of development, Fennell confirms that she’s still unsure if she will also get to helm the project, as her and the studio’s current priority is to complete the script first before starting to discuss about potential directors and casting.
“It’s so exciting. That’s not a conversation that’s happened at all, so I have no insight, and also, we’re still in the early days,” Fennell said. “It’s something that we’ve been working on for a while. I’ve been speaking to Bad Robot [Productions], who are amazing. You want to get the first bit right, which is the script, before you think of anything else. It’s a very specific thing – the world of superhero movies is incredibly exciting, but it’s also a new different challenge. The main thing for me is making sure that it’s really, really good. I’m such a genre fan. I’m a fan of witchcraft, magic, and comic books, and this is scary and intense.”
Zatanna Zatara was first created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson and appeared in 1964’s Hawkman No. 4 as the daughter of famed stage magician Giovanni Zatara, having inherited her father’s magical powers, including telekinesis, telepath, teleportation, the ability to control the elements and manipulation of reality, and career as a professional stage magician
The film adaptation was first rumored last year and was recently confirmed at AT&T’s investor day along with the development of the Batgirl solo film, the former of which hails from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and will mark the character’s live-action film and DC Extended Universe debuts.
No actress is currently attached for the titular role of the magic-wielding hero, though based on our poll from last year, out of five potential actresses, Golden Globe nominee Ana de Armas (Knives Out, Blade Runner 2049) came out as the fan-favorite for the role with 1,058 votes from readers.
While not having previously appeared in a live-action film, Serinda Swan did give Zatanna her live-action debut in the fan-favorite series Smallville, though the character is certainly better known for her appearances in various animated series such as Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice as well as in most recent TV shows DC Super Hero Girls and Harley Quinn.
A Zatanna solo film is just the latest project to be in the works between DC and Abrams’ Bad Robot, with both currently working together to develop a Justice League Dark series at HBO Max and a new Superman film from scribe Ta-Nehisi Coates reportedly centered around a Black man taking on the iconic mantle.