In a clear coup for Warner Bros. and DC Films, Promising Young Woman filmmaker Emerald Fennell has signed on to write the Zatanna movie that is being produced by J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot banner, Collider has confirmed.
Created by Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson, Zatanna is a magician who made her debut in a Hawkman comic way back in November 1964. She is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the DC universe, having inherited her unique abilities from her father, alchemist Giovanni Zatara.
In the comics, Zatanna is known for her involvement with the Justice League and her romance with John Constantine, though she has never appeared in a DC movie. The character did appear on the CW‘s Smallville, where she was played by Serinda Swan.
At the moment, Fennell‘s deal — which has been done for some time now — simply calls for her to write the script, though there’s always the possibility that she could direct as well. But is this really what we want from Emerald Fennell? B-list comic book movies? I selfishly hoped Fennell would write another original screenplay rather than take a studio assignment about superheroes like many of her talented peers. Fennell has certainly earned the right to do as she pleases, but Kathryn Bigelow‘s career choices look more refreshing every day.
DC Films president Walter Hamada will oversee the Zatanna movie, which is shaping up to be the third DC movie to be led by a female superhero following Wonder Woman and its lackluster sequel. Warner Bros. did recently cast Sasha Calle (The Young and the Restless) as Supergirl, but that was for The Flash movie starring Ezra Miller.
Promising Young Woman debuted to rave reviews at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for five Academy Awards earlier this month. Fennell earned three Oscar noms herself, including Best Director, making her the first female filmmaker to be nominated in that category for their feature directorial debut. She also won the WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay on Sunday night.
Additionally, Fennell served as showrunner on Season 2 of Killing Eve, and she also plays Camilla Parker Bowles on Netflix‘s award-winning drama The Crown. There’s really nothing she can’t do, and WB/DC/Bad Robot should be thanking their lucky stars she agreed to tackle this assignment. Here’s hoping she finds a way to do something special with one of DC‘s higher-profile heroines.