Zak Penn Says There Was "Discussion" To Use Red Skull As The Villain In THE AVENGERS

Zak Penn Says There Was "Discussion" To Use Red Skull As The Villain In THE AVENGERS

Screenwriter Zak Penn reflects on his screenplay for Marvel's The Avengers, revealing that Thanos would NOT have been included in his version and that there was discussion at Marvel Studios to use the Red Skull. Read on for details!

Comic Book Resources have posted their recap of Zak Penn's "Hero Worship" (his new Avatar Press series with co-writer Scott Murphy) panel at the San Diego Comic-Con, and some new details about what he had planned for The Avengers have emerged. Of course, once Joss Whedon took over, the director rewrote the script and reportedly used few elements from Penn's screenplay; something surely only fans of Elektra and X-Men: The Last Stand were disappointed about. He told those in attendance that it was, "My job was to keep revising the draft...for about four or five years, that's what I did. The story was basically the same, but it kept shifting. Then, once Joss (Whedon) came in, he took over from there."

Penn goes on to reveal that Marvel Studios had no contingency plan if any of the solo movies had failed and that he didn't think it was a good idea to release THOR before The Avengers. Instead, he would have introduced him in the superhero ensemble. Regardless of the changes made by Whedon, he revealed that Loki was always intended to be the main villain, although there was actually, "some discussion of it being Red Skull." He added, "If I thought I could have gotten away with Thanos. I would have put him in there." While it's interesting to note that it was clearly Whedon's idea to use the Mad Titan as a part of The Avengers, the fact that the studio considered using the Red Skull may indicate that they still have plans for the villain...could we see him return in Captain America: The Winter Soldier?!

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures Marvel’s The Avengers--the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.


Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Ramanoff/Black Widow
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson
Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill
Tom Hiddleston as Loki

RELEASE DATE: September 17th, 2012 (UK) September 25th, 2012 (US)

Posted By:
Josh Wilding
Member Since 3/13/2009
Filed Under "Avengers" 7/28/2012 Source: Comic Book Resources
DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. is protected from liability under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and "safe harbor" provisions. CBM will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content. You may also learn more about our copyright and trademark policies HERE.
1 2 3
JDUKE25 - 7/28/2012, 4:56 AM
I honestly don't care much for Red Skull, but it'd be nice to find out what happened to him after he got beamed up.
ComfortablyNumb - 7/28/2012, 5:07 AM
Penn is a tool bag.
marvel72 - 7/28/2012, 5:08 AM
he was good in captain america,but loki was a better choice of villain for the avengers,nice homage to the classic avengers 1 from 1963.
P862010 - 7/28/2012, 5:21 AM
loki worked better because he is a super villain

does red skull have any powers at all?
Fantine - 7/28/2012, 5:22 AM
I didnt mind Red Skull, i hate Loki though, he doesnt seem like a worthy villain of The Avengers.
jessepostal - 7/28/2012, 5:23 AM
I'm more of a skull than a Loki fan so I would have loved to see him in there. I hope they use him again or at least tell us what he's up too these days
Kayo - 7/28/2012, 5:23 AM
Penn is not a good writer
JohnTom88 - 7/28/2012, 5:26 AM
Zak Penn is like a less luckier David Goyer.

On the other hand, they have to reuse Hugo Weaving Red Skull for the Captain America: Winter Soldier.
dahamma - 7/28/2012, 5:26 AM
SO glad this did not happen. Thor movie AFTER the Avengers? thats no fun at all. It was great the way it was because you go into Avengers already knowing everyones back story
AmazingFantasy - 7/28/2012, 5:33 AM
Penn is a tool indeed. Thank balls Whedon wrote it.

Captain America was great, little rushed with pretty bad CGI. Nonetheless Captain America was made up in THE AVENGERS.


AutobotCommander84 - 7/28/2012, 5:34 AM
"something surely only fans of Elektra and X-Men: The Last Stand were disappointed about" So, I guess Zac Penn never wrote The Incredible Hulk did he? He didn't actually do a good superhero movie and only wrote a piece of garbage and a character-overloaded X-Men movie? Yeah, keep thinking that man.
ATrueHero1987 - 7/28/2012, 5:36 AM
He would've preferred Thor AFTER The Avengers?!
marvel72 - 7/28/2012, 5:49 AM
@ Azazel1

captain america wasn't terrible,i tell you what films are terrible.

jonah hex
green lantern
batman forever
batman & robin
superman 3
superman 4
superman returns
swamp thing
return of the swamp thing
ghost rider
ghost rider 2
x-men origins wolverine
fantastic four
fantastic four 2
spider-man 3
x-men 3
blade 3
howard the duck

all these films are terrible,captain america is superior to all these comic book movies.
masterhater - 7/28/2012, 5:54 AM
Cap was a good movie.
Joss whedon probably saved the avengers movie. Otherwise we would of gotten another elekra.
jessepostal - 7/28/2012, 5:56 AM
What part of the cap movie had bad cgi?
JatevinM - 7/28/2012, 5:58 AM
They do seriously need to explain what happened to the Red Skull now that we know for sure the Tesseract was a cosmic portal. I feel like from the look of it he may have wound up in one of the 9 realms.
UncleJimmy - 7/28/2012, 6:06 AM
Bunch of trolls calling red skull second rate...

Bino lovers -_-
DarthLaney - 7/28/2012, 6:09 AM
Penn is responsible for so much crap, thank god his work was thrown out.

DarthLaney - 7/28/2012, 6:09 AM
Skull will cameo in Thor 2
BrowniesExplode - 7/28/2012, 6:16 AM
I agree with Azazel1 and Marvel72 but i think with them adding thanos to the mcu it opened the door to the cosmic heroes and i hope for dark tones to
MitchConner - 7/28/2012, 6:27 AM
CA was awful...worst of the MCU by far...Red Skull would have been a mistake...awful portrayal of a villain....just bad....
MitchConner - 7/28/2012, 6:29 AM
@marvel 72, you are high, Howard the Duck, Wolverine, and Jonah hex were great!
Warcam - 7/28/2012, 6:36 AM
Hack Penn couldn't write a grocery list without screwing it up.

@Jesseportal....The scene in the 3rd act where they're chasing the Red Skull's plane and they're about to drive off the cartoon runway in the cartoon car is pretty cringeworthy.
sameoldthing - 7/28/2012, 6:44 AM
He's stupid to think Thor should be introduced in Avengers first..but Thor movie was weakest of all the Marvel stuff,Iron-Man is best,Cap is next then Thor.

Thor needs only appear on Earth / Midgard when really big threats arrive,keep his ass in those fantastical realms fighting outrageous creatures & villains of Asgard.
nld3 - 7/28/2012, 6:46 AM
I'm just not a Red Skull fan. He may have worked well in the 40's & 60's but today. He's just outdated.
superotherside - 7/28/2012, 6:46 AM
I'm glad Loki was in there. It's nice call back to the original Avengers issue.
PeterParker1991 - 7/28/2012, 6:48 AM
Nice to know Red Skull is alive. Probably wouldn't have worked in Avengers. Just glad Whedon took over before this Zak chump destroyed the best comic movie ever
SymbioteJoker - 7/28/2012, 6:54 AM
Well what if the cube didn't send him somewhere but when? Maybe it flung him to the future and demanded back control from Strucker or Zemo. Perhaps he molded Winter Soldier in the sequel
Alex909 - 7/28/2012, 6:58 AM
@Jessepostal: I remember a scene in the montage halfway through the film where Cap leaps off a tank as it explodes in the background. That was a pretty unconvincing use of of CGI, it didn't look all that good.
BatOnTheBrain - 7/28/2012, 7:12 AM
The red skull is one of the coolest villians marvel has his a classic he predates all of the mainstream characters we all love from stan the man lee and i hope the MCU brings him to the forefront in future films because he didnt die he was transported who knows where he is did he transport to one of the nine realms or through time he could even pop up as a villian in avengers 2 in thano's super villian army.

jessepostal - 7/28/2012, 7:15 AM
@warcam and Alex, that's not bad cgi that's the style of the movie, just like sin city or sky captain, that comic look and feel. Bad cgi is for instance a scene in the avengers when cap jumps up to the platform outside the hellicarrior to check the equipment for stark. That's cringe worthy
AnotherSinisterClone - 7/28/2012, 7:26 AM
@marvel72, stop being a troll and let people think what they wanna about Captain America. You post that list of yours every few weeks. God forbid anyone say anything not complimentary about a Marvel movie.
Cross - 7/28/2012, 7:30 AM
captain america tfa is the worst movie of mcu. It's so bad that it makes iron man 2 look like a decent film. Every thing about the movie was so stupid and it wasn't a suprise to find out that cap was useless and the worst in the avengers. They could have made it atleast decent by hiring steven spielberg as the whole movie was trying to rip off indiana jones. So why not get the real man for the job. Plus they didn't capture atmosphere of war at all. It was so unbelieveable. They should have made it more like saving private ryan. Just imagine a superhero in those dark times. It would have been great. Next, evans doesnt look like cap at all he is still looks and acts like johnny they should have got a better actor that didn't play and marvel roles before. Lastly where the hell were the freaking nazis. Yes i know those dudes were a part of nazi but i want him fight the real ones. Overall one of the worst superhero movies.
Seven23 - 7/28/2012, 7:32 AM
Maybe he can appear in the avengers 2 alogn with thanos.
MidnightSpider - 7/28/2012, 7:37 AM
Wouldn't have minded seeing him as I enjoyed CA:TFA, but I think Loki knocked it out of the park that I'm ok with Skull not being in Avengers. However, I'd like to see him make a return in a future film.
ThePowerCosmic - 7/28/2012, 7:43 AM
Captain America was an awesome film! I never cared much for the character even as a huge Marvel fan, until after this film. I loved the artistic quality of it, the snow scenes and Hugo Weaving as Red Skull could not have been better!

He will be back. I don't think in WInter Soldier, but I think he will be in the 3rd CA film.
SpideyQuad - 7/28/2012, 7:43 AM
I concur with marvel72 -post
SpideyQuad - 7/28/2012, 7:46 AM

Surely you're just trolling. If you're even remotely serious, I would be completely speechless.
SpideyQuad - 7/28/2012, 7:52 AM
@AnotherSinisterClone -

What are you talking about, there are plenty of Marvel movies on that list. Open your eyes. you trying to start a fight that's totally unnecessary. That entire list is crap. those movies are a disgrace to CBM
LAXtremest - 7/28/2012, 8:08 AM
I'm glad it was Loki. As far as villians go, I put Loki right behind Heath Ledgers Joker.
1 2 3

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.