“Promising Young Woman” Writer/Director Emerald Fennell Will Pen “Zatanna” For DC Films

Emerald Fennell is having a very good start to her week and a very good year, period. The talented actress, writer, and director just nabbed the WGA Award for original screenplay this past Sunday night for her feature Promising Young Woman, which also garnered five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. Then came Monday, March 22, when Deadline revealed that Fennell will be penning the DC movie Zatanna for Warner Bros. and Bad Robot.

The character Zatanna first appeared in November 1964’s “Hawkman,” and was created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson. She has magical powers, as did her father, Zatara, and when we first meet her in the comics she’s searching for him. For those curious how Zatanna factors into the larger DC universe, she’s got a slew of direct connections to some of the biggest superheroes. Over the years Zatanna has been involved with the Justice League—she assisted them on missions and was eventually elected as a member (“Justice League of America #161, December 1978). She was romantically linked to the character Constantine and was even friends with Bruce Wayne when they were both kids. Zatanna has also already appeared on the screen—Serinda Swan played her in the final three seasons of CW’s Smallville. 

As for Fennell, her time has clearly come. She was fantastic as Camila Parker Bowells in The Crown and clearly has filmmaking chops to spare. She was an executive producer and writer on Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Killing Eve, season two, and she made history with her Oscar nomination for Best Director, becoming the first female filmmaker to be nominated for their debut feature. She joins Nomadland director Chloé Zhao in the category, becoming only the sixth and seventh female directors ever nominated. And finally, Fennell’s three nominations make her only the third woman to ever amass such a tally, alongside Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) and producer Fran Walsh (Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King).

We’ll be hearing a lot more from Fennell in the future, a happy fact.

Featured image: (L to R) Actor Carey Mulligan, writer/director Emerald Fennell and actor Bo Burnham on the set of PROMSING YOUNG WOMAN, a Focus Features release. Credit : Merie Weismiller Wallace / Focus Features


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