Zak Penn (born March 23, 1968) is an American screenwriter.[1] Penn wrote and directed Incident at Loch Ness and The Grand, wrote the script for The Incredible Hulk, co-wrote the scripts for X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, and the story for The Avengers. With Michael Karnow, Penn is the co-creator of the TV series Alphas on the Syfy network.[2]

Zak Penn
Zak Penn by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Penn at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1968-03-23) March 23, 1968 (age 53)
New York, U.S.

Early lifeEdit

Penn was born in New York. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1990. His screenplay for PCU was based on his experiences at the Eclectic Society house. He is the son of New York businessman and lawyer Arthur Penn, who led the acquisition of the Capital Markets Assurance Corporation from Citicorp.[3]


Films that Penn has been involved in writing include Last Action Hero, Inspector Gadget, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Elektra. Penn wrote early drafts of Hulk, The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers and Free Guy.

Penn is also a jury member for the digital studio Filmaka, a platform for undiscovered filmmakers to show their work to industry professionals.[4]

In July 2012, Avatar Press released the first issue of Penn's first comic book, Hero Worship. The six-issue series is co-written with Star Wars: The Clone Wars screenwriter Scott Murphy and drawn by Michael DiPascale. It centers on Zenith, an indestructible hero who has fans following every disaster, trying to catch a glimpse of the ultimate celebrity and risking their own lives in the process. One fan becomes so obsessed that it leads to the development of his own powers.

He directed the documentary film Atari: Game Over.



Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer
1993 Last Action Hero No Story Co-story writer with Adam Leff
1994 PCU No Yes Co-screenwriter with Adam Leff
1997 Men in Black No Uncredited [5]
1998 Antz No Yes Story consultant
1999 Inspector Gadget No Yes Co-screenwriter with Kerry Ehrin
2000 Charlie's Angels No Uncredited Script revisions
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps No Yes Co-story writer by Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield Paul Weitz, and Chris Weitz
2001 Behind Enemy Lines No Yes Co-screenwriter with David Veloz
2003 X2 No Story Co-story writer with David Hayter and Bryan Singer
2004 Incident at Loch Ness Yes Yes directorial debut; Co-screenwriter with Werner Herzog
Suspect Zero No Yes Co-screenwriter Billy Ray
2005 Elektra No Yes Co-screenwriter with Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand No Yes Co-screenwriter with Simon Kinberg
2007 The Grand Yes Yes Co-screenwriter with Matt Bierman
2008 The Incredible Hulk No Yes Story; with uncredited screenwriting rewrites by Edward Norton
2012 The Avengers No Story Co-story writer with Joss Whedon
2014 Atari: Game Over Yes No Documentary; on-screen appearance
2018 Ready Player One No Yes Co-screenwriter with Ernest Cline
2021 Free Guy No Yes Co-screenwriter with Matt Lieberman


Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer Creator/Showrunner
2011–2012 Alphas No No Yes co-created with Michael Karnow

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Credited as Notes
Creative director Writer Technical director
2005 Fantastic Four No Yes No Credited for game story and dialogue
2006 X-Men: The Official Game No Yes No Credited for screenplay


  1. ^ "The New York Times". Movies & TV Dept. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2008. Archived from the original on March 9, 2008.
  2. ^ "Elmira Star-Gazette". Elmira Star-Gazette.
  3. ^ Jefferson Names First Endowed Chair in Department's History,
  4. ^ Filmaka Jury Member Zack Penn,
  5. ^ Wolf, Jaime (August 23, 1998). "The Blockbuster Script Factory". The New York Times.

External linksEdit