Love him or hate him, screenwriter Zak Penn is no stranger to big budget summer blockbusters and superhero feature films. Working in the industry for over 20 years, Penn has written for Elektra, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Incredible Hulk, and Marvel's The Avengers. Well, Penn will now be working on the just officially announced [Pacific Rim 2](movie:775756).
Yesterday, Pacific Rim writer/director/producer Guillermo del Toro announced that Pacific Rim 2, the sequel to 2013's monster action flick, will release on April 7th, 2017, in 3D and IMAX.
In a taped message to his fans from Toronto, Canada, where he is currently working on the horror film Crimson Peak, del Toro confirmed he will be working on the script with the original screenwriter of Pacific Rim Travis Beacham, as well as Zak Penn. Del Toro also revealed that the Pacific Rim comic book series will continue and that an animated series is in the works.
Here is the official announcement in Guillermo del Toro's own words:
Penn's involvement on Pacific Rim 2 has actually been known since early June, when del Toro spoke with popular site Buzzfeed for the new FX series [The Strain](series:936019) (based on the trilogy of novels del Toro wrote with author Chuck Hogan). Del Toro admitted to Buzzfeed:
I’m working very, very hard with Zak Penn. We’ve been working for a few months now in secret. We found a way to twist it around. Travis Beacham [co-writer of the first film, now working on Fox’s Hieroglyph] was involved in the storyline and now I’m writing with Zak because Travis has become a TV mogul.”
Zak Penn has also signed on with Warner Bros. to write the script for their adaption of Ready Player One, the 80s pop culture-heavy novel by Ernest Cline.
First published in 2011 by Random House, Warner Bros. scooped up, and have been holding on to, the rights for Ready Player One from even before it was published.
The novel is a great geeky read, featuring shout outs to all the great movies, television shows, video games and comic books of the 1980s, including Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, Atari, War Games, Blade Runner, and even the band Rush.
The scavenger hunt feel of the novel will make for a great movie, though securing the rights to all the easter eggs and references in the book maybe become a legal nightmare.
From the book's jacket:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines - puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win - and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
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