Fresh off winning the WGA Award for original screenplay last night, it was announced via a Deadline report that Promising Young Woman writer/director Emerald Fennell is set to pen the screenplay for a Zatanna film based on the DC Comics character.
It’s unknown at this time whether Fennell will also direct the Zatanna film, which is being produced through J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot company through their deal with Warner Bros. DC Films President Walter Hamada is overseeing the project.
A fan-favorite character for years since she was introduced in Hawkman #4 by writer Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson, the sorceress/superhero Zatanna has appeared in various DC Comics media including animation, live-action, and video games typically as a supporting character. She was previously played in live action on The CW’s Smallville by actress Serinda Swan.
As reported last year, Abrams is supposedly also developing a Justice League Dark series of films and TV shows. It’s a very real possibility then that this Zatanna film is meant to set up an eventual Justice League Dark team-up film à la the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One also wonders if the success of the MCU’s WandaVision and the popularity of Elizabeth Olsen‘s Scarlet Witch may have helped open the door for the project.
This news comes less than a month after the announced Superman reboot written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and produced by Abrams under his aforementioned Bad Robot label.
As noted by Deadline, Fennell, a former Killing Eve showrunner, has been on a “hot streak” since her film Promising Young Woman premiere at Sundance in 2020. “Fennell broke an Oscar barrier last week when she became the first female filmmaker to be nominated as Best Director for a feature directorial debut. Along with Nomadland filmmaker Chloé Zhao, they became the sixth and seventh females to be nominated in the Best Director category. Fennell also is the third woman to be recognized with three noms in a single year, following Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation and producer Fran Walsh for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”