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The Punisher Heading To Television
Fox rebooting Marvel killer as cop show

21 October 2011  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: Deadline

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The Punisher Heading To Television

After three attempts at a movie, none of which managed to spark a franchise, Marvel are now giving The Punisher a try as a TV series. Criminal Minds' showrunner Ed Bernero is currently putting together a pilot for Fox.

Marvel's homicidal vigilante is Frank Castle, a Vietnam vet who loses his family and decides to take his revenge. On all criminals, everywhere. He started out in the 70s as a Spider-Man villain, before being given his own series as an anti-hero, and wandered, somewhat unfocused (one bizarre attempt to reboot him saw him given a supernatural slant working for angels) until he was grasped by the neck and reinvigorated by Garth Ennis for Marvel's more adult-oriented Marvel Knights' imprint in 2000. He later got booted up to Marvel Max, where he could be even more violent and sweary.

Dolph Lundgren played Frank in a not-very-faithful 1990 film version. Then Thomas Jane had a creditable crack at him in Jonathan Hensleigh's 2004 movie, a large chunk of which was based on Ennis' Welcome Back Frank. And there was a further attempt in 2008, with Lexi Alexander's uber-brutal Punisher: War Zone, starring Ray Stevenson.

Fox's proposed TV series of hour-long episodes will seriously tweak the formula, re-envisioning Castle as a rising star of the NYPD, who moonlights as The Punisher when he can't get the results he wants through legal channels. So it's Dexter, with a cop instead of a pathologist. It's a "put pilot", which means Fox have guaranteed they'll air it, and usually means an almost certain expansion to a full series.

Marvel are also developing an Incredible Hulk TV series with Guillermo Del Toro, and AKA Jessica Jones, from Brian Michael Bendis' brilliant Alias. The Punisher is the only one not to be underway at ABC. Fox are also working on a version of DC's The Spectre.


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Your Comments

RE: Thomas Jane is underrated
The Punisher should be on a cable channel if anything.  More

Posted by Shifty Bench at 21:40 on 21 October 2011 | Report This Post

Thomas Jane is underrated
His Punisher was victim to lumbering editing imo, and an unrefined script - but his performance was excellent. Should've been given another chance, I mean if Nic Cage can make a Ghost Rider sequel ffs... :s More

Posted by The Watcher at 18:35 on 21 October 2011 | Report This Post

ugh, the alter ego thing seems lazy, like they know if they have him as a cop AND vigilante that somehow generates more story ideas. Which it really doesn't. More

Posted by clarkkent at 18:16 on 21 October 2011 | Report This Post

Punisher Fail yet again!
For the love of Stan Lee why cant they get such a simple idea of a character right. Why continually tweak a character that has been a mainstay of the marvel universe for nearly 40 years. The films were bad enough. But why make him a cop?! Hes a war vet. Fine if vietnam is too long in the memory, in which case make him a Vet from afghanistan or Iraq. One of the things that makes the punisher the Punisher is his spEcial forces training! I mean he's a marine gone AWOL/ Jebus! the above "tweak More

Posted by G33k78 at 16:43 on 21 October 2011 | Report This Post

Thomas Jane
he fucking was The Punisher. More

Posted by BatSpider at 15:31 on 21 October 2011 | Report This Post

Punisher 2004
Tom Jane as Frank Castle was the best portrayal of a super-hero on film. Apart from Reeve of course. More

Posted by burtbondy at 10:24 on 21 October 2011 | Report This Post

Don't see why they need the alter-ego bit...
and as you say, sounds very Dexter. Seeing as the last arc (about the last 6 episodes or so) of the last series of 24 was very Punisher, they should just do it properly and get Keifer in the skull t-shirt. More

Posted by partybee at 10:03 on 21 October 2011 | Report This Post

So he's still a cop? Sort of defeats the point. I suppose they want to go some way to justifying his actions. More

Posted by sweetladybrick at 09:54 on 21 October 2011 | Report This Post

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