RESULTS: Would A PG-13 Punisher Movie From Marvel Studios And Disney Work?

RESULTS: Would A PG-13 Punisher Movie From Marvel Studios And Disney Work?

Nearly 1700 of you voted, and you can find out here whether or not you thought The Punisher would work as a PG-13 movie like Iron Man rather than an R-Rated bloodfest like War Zone! The answer may shock you...

Reading about the upcoming comic book relaunch of The Punisher got me thinking. The series by Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto will be gritty, and it will be will not however be a MAX series and instead will feature a "Parental Guidance" warning on the cover. Now, this is nothing all that new. There have been plenty of Punisher series' in the past, all of which have been of a similar type to this one. None of them feature bad language or overly bloody and gory violence, but they're still loved by fans. So, would a movie just like that work? Does it have to be R-Rated? Could a PG-13 version work on the big screen?

Personally, I think the answer is maybe. With Marvel Studios and Disney now holding the rights to the character, we're bound to see Frank Castle turn up on either the big or small screen sometime in the near future. If it's the former, then I think it's fair to say Disney have little interest in producing an R-Rated Punisher movie. Which is why I'm asking, would it work as a PG-13? Tone down the language and gore, and it really could. A movie in the same vein as Matt Fraction's 'Punisher: Warzone' series might work, but however you look at it, there's no getting away from the violence which surrounds Frank Castle.

Well, those were my thoughts when I posted the poll a few days ago. Looks like there's only a few of us who feel that way though, as you voted by a huge majority that the only way for The Punisher to hit the big screen would be with an R-Rating! Here are the results in full, and be sure to share your thoughts on this in the usual place! (in hindsight, these results probably aren't all that shocking!) :)

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Posted By:
Josh Wilding
Member Since 3/13/2009
Filed Under "Punisher" 7/14/2011
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Minato - 7/14/2011, 2:52 PM
I still think that blood, gore and language doesnt equal good movie. I want the charactors soul and demons to be the central focus. He can kill and be scary without being rated R. Joker did it in TDK.
On the other hand om not opposed to the R rating only if thats not their only focus.
HULK2099 - 7/14/2011, 2:54 PM
AvengersAssemble - 7/14/2011, 3:00 PM
No way. R-rated or don't even bother! I think this property would work best in an ongoing series on HBO.
superpooper - 7/14/2011, 3:00 PM
Nope. Pg13 won't work. Punisher is an executioner. Pg 13 is for pussies like Tom Jane the Butt Punisher.
AvengersAssemble - 7/14/2011, 3:01 PM
I want the level of violence that the new Rambo had in it!
BigK1337 - 7/14/2011, 3:02 PM
I think the better question is; would any Punisher movie work at all?

Seriously, 3 different movies and none of them are well recieved by the critics and audiences. To me, I think Punisher was better off as a supporting character to other Marvel heroes like Spider-Man and Daredevil; or at least create a Marvel Knights movie just to showcase all of Marvel's well known vigilantes.
BigK1337 - 7/14/2011, 3:06 PM
@AvengersAssemble and @superpooper

I hate to use this excuse, but The Dark Knight. There, I have never seen a PG-13 movie that has alot of violense in it.
Fogs - 7/14/2011, 3:09 PM
[frick] 13 yr kids. Go watch Smallville and GTFO the theaters.
superotherside - 7/14/2011, 3:13 PM
I agree with you Josh it would work...
McGribble - 7/14/2011, 3:14 PM
The concept of the punished is a very adult theme. Making it for kids would go against what it is meant to be. There is no reason to make this movie if they are going to cut off it's balls... Hard R is the only way to do a true Punisher movie...
Bodwulf - 7/14/2011, 3:14 PM
They should do a T.V. series of the Punisher! Like the A-team or Magnum P.I. That would definitely Be big! Never show the actual death of his family. Just show him each week avoiding the law as he is hired to avenge wrongful acts of violence that slipped through the system! Because brother when it comes to movies Punisher is on par with Howard the Duck. Not worth a DAMN.
TheStranger - 7/14/2011, 3:16 PM
I went with "it has to be R" but after re-thinking my position, the original Punisher comics didn't require you to be a certain age to buy and they were great, they're what gave the character his boost in popularity, so I have to re-cast my vote, I think PG-13 would work just fine, it does in the comics...
HelaGood - 7/14/2011, 3:18 PM
Don't think it would work. It should be VERY R. Blood, guts, revenge.
Fogs - 7/14/2011, 3:22 PM
@Sortis - The problem is that today's audience, studios - actually everyone, now that I think of it - is so pussified that if you show someone being shot and dying it's considered too strong and it's meant to be mature. If there's blood involved you almost need a certificate of sanity to watch.
headlopper - 7/14/2011, 3:29 PM
It was a joke of a question in the first place.Here's a better one: Should Disney make an 'R' rated 'Dumbo'?
Gnyah123 - 7/14/2011, 3:31 PM
just dumb...didn't disney buy marvel? if so then that was a bad move i think OK move but if you are going to make another punisher movie it has to be rated R
if your going to make it with alot of action then def. rated R
MovieTheaterLad - 7/14/2011, 3:36 PM
Sortis brings up a VERY good point.

The original Punisher comics were not that violent.

Look at Justified or any Clint Eastwood movie. The Punisher can deliver stories of revenge and corruption and gang warfare just fine without having to resort to being overly bloody.

Really, you guys are clamoring for a "Mature" rating, when all you want is just blood and guts like you were a bunch of 13 year olds who think they're hot shit because their moms bought them Call of Duty for Christmas.
CaptainMaximum - 7/14/2011, 3:38 PM
Am I the only one who like the Thomas Jane punisher? best out of them all.
Fogs - 7/14/2011, 3:45 PM
@MovieTheaterLad - I agree that in the 70's, 80's and 90's it would be OK. But the problem is that punisher kills people. Lots of them. And he's the lead character. That alone these days require it to be R.
Astro - 7/14/2011, 3:50 PM
I want a real Born/Year One adaptation. A time period piece about Vietnam and Frank's true transformation into the Punisher I'm all for a gritty T.V. show.
Ghostt - 7/14/2011, 4:38 PM
Punisher was one of my favorite characters growing up. They have completed destroyed him every time on film. The worst part is he was a character practically made to be on film. I can not believe anybody but freaks like me would want to see a 4th Punisher reboot. Give it anohter 10 years folks, please
AC1 - 7/14/2011, 5:18 PM
I think of all characters, Punisher needs an R-rating. He's defined by the tragedies and traumas of his life, and how they have shaped him into what can only be described as a guy who leads criminals to the slaughterhouse. He's detective, judge, jury, and (most importantly) executioner all rolled up in a black T-shirt with a skull on it.
The way he works, is that he figures out how evil a criminal is, and executes them with a brutality that fits the evil of their crimes.
And that means blood, and lots of it. That's what makes him the Punisher.
DeadzPool - 7/14/2011, 5:25 PM
the punisher needs a story worth watching whether its R rated or PG-13 rated...the previous ones sucked cuz the story suckd ass, but with a good writer and and a good actor, i see no reason why a PG-13 rated Punisher flick would be out of th question :3
Luigi - 7/14/2011, 6:00 PM
scars1011 - 7/14/2011, 6:04 PM
The punisher has to be R rated. The best stories I have read are the Punisher max stories. They need to go with a movie along the lines of those first few issues. I mean lets face it he's a killer / mass murderer even if they are evil people its still murder.
scars1011 - 7/14/2011, 6:04 PM
The punisher has to be R rated. The best stories I have read are the Punisher max stories. They need to go with a movie along the lines of those first few issues. I mean lets face it he's a killer / mass murderer even if they are evil people its still murder.
SUPERMAN316 - 7/14/2011, 6:12 PM
If they played it smart it could work. As long as they didn't pick a plastic Punisher like in War Zone.
Natetrix79 - 7/14/2011, 6:14 PM
I like the Thomas Jane Punisher movie, if they would have showed him starting to snap in the war & if John Travolta's role was more like when he was the badguy in face-off then the movie would have been Perfect! There's no way you can show his family get killed without it being Rated-R it's a woman & child being shot & we have to see that. That's what makes you feel for Frank & root for him, otherwise he's just a killer.
whachow - 7/14/2011, 6:23 PM
This is stupid. "Adult themed" doesn't mean blood and gore. It's like saying the only way to make action movies is with a lot of explosions (*ahem* Michael Bay *cough*). I mean, look at the Nolan/Batman series. Dark and serious, yet not rated "R." Give me a compelling story with a good and dark concept and I'll be happy. If you don't like that, go watch the Saw series and paint a little punisher skull on the dvd box, if it'll make you happy.
Vital - 7/14/2011, 6:49 PM
I said maybe, cause I'm content either way. But something like Predator/Aliens/Terminator definitely needs to be R. I prefer R ratings cause it usually includes real language people use (a lot of people swear in today's society, so it's weird when they don't in these films lol). But then again, you do need to show the headshot in something like The Punisher, which is heavily focused on violence and revenge. I'd like to see a switch-a-roo, having the Punisher be pg-13 to see if it makes the story better, since that's all they will have to rely on, and a R rated DareDevil film with a lot of realism/hand to hand combat, stealth, and language from the criminals in "Hell's Kitchen".
Vital - 7/14/2011, 6:51 PM
*since that's what they'll have to rely on.
njferns - 7/14/2011, 7:08 PM
Firstly the previous films that were made before the Disney takeover all did badly! So why would we wanna see yet ANOTHER Punisher movie in the first place?? And a PG-13 one?!? You gotta be kiddin me!


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MatioShack - 7/14/2011, 8:21 PM
The Punisher Max series, while awesome (and honestly the best representation of the character) wasn't the first time Punisher was in comics. He's been around for awhile and for the vast majority of that there was no nudity, swearing, or overly violent images. I think it COULD work, but that doesn't mean that it's what I, as a fan, want to see.
superpooper - 7/14/2011, 11:54 PM
^^ You can't make that determination by comparing it with comic book ratings. When Punisher first came out kids could still afford comic books and made up a much larger percentage of the target demographic then they do now, and as a result the ratings had a much more drastic effect on revenue. In other words, if you wanted to sell a lot of comics you couldn't make them inaccessible to kids under 18. Also, suggested gore and violence in comic books is much more easy to depict then in movies where the special effects have a greater impact and create a bigger reaction. In a movie about violence and death people want to see all the gory details.
Bobsuncorp - 7/14/2011, 11:56 PM
I've believed for a long time (and I've said it several times on this site) that the only way a Punisher adaptation would truly work is to:

A)- Make it animated. That way we can have our cake and eat it too, there is much more room for gore and violence (swearing has never really been a part of the Punisher, at least in the ones I've read) and yet it is not as "Troma" looking as Warzone was. It would have to be made clear that it is not for kids, but a marketing department can handle that. My favourite option would be a series of short movies adapted from Garth Ennis' MAX run, in the same vein as the "Gotham Knights" Batman animated moovie.

B)- Don't try and update the character. I've ALWAYS thought that the introduction of Castle when he has already been fighting his war for 30 years, becoming a New York urban legend with a bodycount in the thousands, is an excellent way to start off ("In The Beginning" begins with Castle at his family's graves remembering it as flashback, and that is all you need). By giving the character that backstory right from the word go it gives him a weight and history that is normally not available for a "new" character, and it emphasises his tactical skills since a 50-60 year old man needs to fight smart, no matter how big and strong and fit he is. The movie would also have to be heavy with voice-over's giving us Castle's inner monologue to show that tactical awareness.
Ichaos - 7/15/2011, 4:41 AM
The vast majority was rated R. What exactly were we suppose to be suprised about in regards to the poll?
Alphalad - 7/15/2011, 12:40 PM
I think Punisher should be R-rated although with a little more of a plot instead of that last one. The action was there but the actors were walking through the movie and just trying to make a buck. The guy that played Jigsaw was not that bad but that ridiculous sob story with the kid made me want to watch Bambi or something.
TheDorkKnight - 7/15/2011, 1:10 PM
If they make Punisher like Blade then maybe....... it might not don't work.
SpiderFan35 - 7/15/2011, 1:12 PM
God, sometimes I hope that Hollywood doesn't read the posts we put on these sites.

"No, no listen, I saw it on, the fans want a PG-13 Disney animated Punisher movie". Sheesh.

Maybe Punisher is just one character that won't work on film. Let's move on to someone who hasn't had a bad movie (or 2) yet.
felixxx - 7/16/2011, 8:15 AM
You dont need a bunch of blood and guts to make a action movie. The Matrix series was full of action and death but they did it with out all the gore. I dont care either way but the stories more important to me than seeing what the inside of someones skull looks like in CGI. It can be done, anyone that thinks otherwise just either A:wants to be a hater, like most of our commenters or B:would rather see blood and guts over a good story.
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