Marvel Talks Live-Action Avengers

With the two animated Ultimate Avengers features doing well on DVD, Marvel is considering a major motion picture staring comic-book franchises Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Ant Man and Giant Man. The company revealed during its recent Analyst Day webcast that X-Men scribe Zak Penn has been hired to write a screenplay for the hero mash-up. Penn is also at work on the next Hulk feature, which may or may not be a sequel to Universal’s 2004 effort to bring the not-so-jolly green giant to the big screen.

Directed by Louis Leterrier (Transporter 2, Unleashed) The Incredible Hulk will follow Ghost Rider as the second project independently financed and produced by Marvel through the company’s $525 million revolving film financing facility. Ghost Rider, starring Nicholas Cage, will be open in theaters on Feb. 16, 2007. The John Favreau-directed Iron Man falls next in line behind Hulk. Also in development at Marvel are features based on comic favorites Captain America, Nick Fury and Ant Man. In addition, the company has The Punisher 2 set up at Lionsgate, Wolverine and Magneto at 20th Century Fox, Namor at Universal and Gargoyle at Sony.