The Punisher... How to make it right...
The Punisher can work... Me and many of my fellow comic book fans believe that. But how?
Frank Castle, one of the greatest comic book characters of all time. He has no powers, just the special training he recieved as a US Marine to wage his war on crime. Honestly, I'm surprised that he still hasn't been done properly on screen. It seems like each of the three movies has some potential, but always falls short for one reason or another. The first crack at the character came in 1989 and starred Dolph Lundgeran as the title character. But rather then a former soldier, he was a cop. The movie dragged on, and the action was subpar(IMO). Then, there was the 2004 version which starred Thomas Jane(the actor who was born for the role), but the film suffered from a bad script and poor direction. However, it touched on the comics' history, what with the addition of characters like Joan, Mr. Bumpo, Spacker Dave, and the Russian. But despite it being a personal favorite of mine, I see it as a flawed masterpiece. Then came War Zone... Dear God. Okay, I loved the way the film was shot, the fact that we finally saw Frank go up against his arch enemy Jigsaw, but the performances were lousy, and it dragged on as well. However, the violence and action scenes rocked.
What I'm saying here is how can we create a version of the character that is the equivalent to the Dark Knight or Iron Man? How can we show the character as he's truly meant to be? Marvel has the rights back, but its clear they're going to keep Frank out of the movies for awhile, as the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy are all the rage. But I do have a few ideas on this possible film to set it apart from the mainstream universe, as well as keep it interesting.
Set it in the 1970s. Those were the heyday of the vigilante/action hero, and brought the grittiness that we've come to associate those films with. That would really make it a different experience from both past Punisher attempts, and the Marvel Universe at large. Besides the Watchmen and league of Extraordinary Gentlemen, you don't see too many comic book period films.
We need to truly get to know his family and feel a connection so we can feel what he feels. In all previous attempts, we only saw his family for but a few minutes before the action commenced. I'm talking central characters to the piece.
Some connection to the Marvel Universe at large is necessary, but not essential. Put in a Stark Industries poster, or something to let the audience know that the Marvel Universe does have an extremely dark side.
This goes with the family idea; let's see Frank before he becomes the gun slinging vigilante in full form. I'd also like to see Frank's time in Vietnam shown to some degree. Born is a great example of how to show Frank's last days in country, and it would be interesting to see that a big part Frank's mindset stems from his time over there. Like his war on crime, Vietnam was an unwinnable conflict, but soldiers liked Frank kept fighting despite knowing that it was a lost cause. This is Frank's approach to his war on crime.
With Daredevil back at Marvel Studios, it would be awesome to see his and Punisher's rivalry on the big screen to really set apart just how different Frank is from the other heroes of the Marvel Universe.
And finally, there's potential for Frank to encounter the Avengers in a later film, much like the Ultimate comics, where Frank is recruited as a member of Nick Fury's black ops squad.
That concludes it for me. I had to get my ideas for the possibilities that a Punisher film done properly possesses, and with him back at Marvel Studios, the sky could be the limit for the character. Thank you for reading for those who did.
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