Fan favorite comic book character Zatanna has regularly found herself linked with joining the live-action roster of DC superheroes dating back over three years, and it was finally confirmed in March that the magician and sorcerer was getting her own live-action blockbuster, with J.J. Abrams producing through Bad Robot as part of his massive WarnerMedia deal that’s also seen him attached to Justice League Dark, Constantine, animated series Batman: Caped Crusader and the Superman reboot.
There’s precious little information available on the project so far, but the only creative talent on board other than Abrams makes it a hugely exciting title nonetheless. Former Killing Eve showrunner Emerald Fennell made a seamless transition into the feature film world with her incendiary debut Promising Young Woman, which landed her an Academy Award win for Best Original Screenplay and further nominations for Best Picture and Best Director, marking her out as a talent well worth keeping an eye on.
As of yet, she’s not slated to step behind the camera and helm Zatanna herself, but in a new interview, Fennell teased what she’s got in store for the in-development blockbuster’s script, and it sounds exciting.
“There are lots of things about her that felt like they could be really, really interesting. And it’ll be an opportunity to make something really quite dark. And that appealed to me, to make something big and scary. I love that stuff. The scale is so massive and so thrilling. Like, why wouldn’t you want to write something like that when you can write huge, massive, crazy sequences and fights? Normally you’re like, ‘How can I show this in the smallest cheapest way?’. To have complete freedom to really let your imagination run wild is such a joy.”
Margot Robbie was one of the producers on Promising Young Woman through her LuckyChap Entertainment banner, so perhaps Fennell and the DCEU veteran have been exchanging tips about how to approach Zatanna, which is slated for a theatrical release despite DC Films president Walter Hamada outlining his intentions to debut some of the studio’s movies on HBO Max. Of course, Bad Boys for Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s Batgirl was recently confirmed as a streaming exclusive, but the second generation sorceress looks to be heading for the multiplex.