Variety says that Zak Penn, who with Simon Kinberg has written X-Men 3, has made a deal with 20th Century Fox for a two-year first-look deal to write, produce and direct.
Penn is a credited writer on the Fox films PCU, Behind Enemy Lines, X2: X-Men United and Elektra. Penn had a previous deal with the studio that he let lapse when he directed the improvisational film Incident at Loch Ness.
Aside from polishing “X3″ with Kinberg before director Brett Ratner begins production, Penn is producing the Fox film Clan of the 7th Circle, a kid fantasy project that Michael Karnow will write. Penn is also expected to develop a film at the studio to direct, possibly a spinoff of the “X-Men” franchise.
The studio is already developing two of those, the David Benioff-scripted Wolverine and an origin story about the villain Magneto that Sheldon Turner is writing. Penn’s would be a new movie.