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It's the Booze Talkin': Netflix Will Give us the Quintessential Punisher!

I love a good revenge drama. Whether it was Charles Bronson in DEATH WISH flicks or the Park Chan-Wook trilogy SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, OLDBOY and LADY VENGEANCE, it’s always been a preferred subject matter to me. So one of my favorite Marvel characters has always been The Punisher. And yes, with the recent success of DEADPOOL and LOGAN, people are talking R-rated super heroes again, but don’t forget Frank Castle. This dude who is looking for payback for the death of his family has always been R in every cinematic entry. There is nothing PG-13 about his need to deliver retribution to the scumbags of society, and the violence that this brings. Unfortunately for audiences, just because it carries a rating allowing for more adult themes doesn't mean it's going to be good.

dolph lundgren the punisher marvel 1989 louis gossett jr. boaz yakin mark goldblatt

In 1989, we were given our first big-screen THE PUNISHER treatment. The first time around, ROCKY IV villain Dolph Lundgren dyed his hair and stepped into Frank Castle’s shoes. Now, this flick is about as cheap as you can get compared to modern day superhero adaptations, but it was a gritty, low budget feature that had a ton of charm. It was brutal, and frankly, Dolph owned as Frank. His growl of a voice, and his intense physicality presented an imposing figure that you wouldn’t want to mess with. It may not be the most popular of the Marvel movies, but I still loved it. And yes, this baby was R!

the punisher thomas jane john travolta 2004 jonathan hensleigh marvel

Here is the thing with the big-screen Punishers: the same actor hasn't played Frank twice. First we had Dolph, and then, we had the revamped THE PUNISHER in 2004 with Thomas Jane. Four years later we had the continuation with 2008’s PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, this time it was Ray Stevenson playing the lead role. It’s safe to say that each of these films has developed a fanbase, and some may not really embrace Lundgren’s take… they may prefer Stevenson or Jane. For me, the actor has never been the problem for any of the films. It was the decidedly mixed range of quality that left fans feeling a bit punished, without offering a completely satisfying experience - one that never quite lived up to the comics.

punisher war zone ray stevenson julie benz dominic west 2008 marvel lexi alexander

That brings us to Netflix. When it comes to the small screen, Marvel and Netflix have made for an enticing pair with shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Add to that The Defenders, and you have a mostly solid television universe for Marvel. The incredibly talented Jon Bernthal (who was featured on twelve episodes of Daredevil) has arrived to really bring The Punisher to life. Again, I’ve never had an issue with any of the actors in the role, but the thought of seeing a force of nature like Bernthal tackle own series is very alluring. Although I’ve yet to see how much of his work is featured in The Defenders… sorry, but I’m a bit behind.

jon bernthal the punisher netflix marvel series 2017 the defenders daredevil

As mentioned, one of the most important aspects that seem to have hurt THE PUNISHER films is the varied quality in story and structure. With this bad ass dude looking for revenge heading to the small screen, here is hoping they can bring the old school comic book fans some of what made the stories so great. The care that they have brought to the other small screen heroes - well, not so much with Iron Fist perhaps - should give them the chance to really create a fantastic and brutal world. I’d love to not only see some of the original stories explored, but a new layer added to this tragic figure as well. Frank Castle is a complex character, one that may be a bit too difficult to really capture in a two hour feature film.

the punisher daredevil thomas jane comics jon bernthal ray stevenson netflix marvel

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but I believe Marvel's The Punisher on Netflix be the quintessential on-screen version of the character. The Netflix/Marvel brand has been mostly pretty solid, and The Punisher seems to be the perfect hero to throw in the mix. Dark, violent and tragic, his revenge-driven heroism is prime for this model. I can’t wait to see Bernthal grow with his role for his own series. He’s an incredibly talented actor, and it’s especially fantastic to see him headline a show. Another reason I enjoy the Marvel/Netflix collaborations: the leading actor choices. So while we’ve never really had a completely successful screen adaptation of The Punisher, I have absolute faith that we will now. Bring on Frank Castle! Are you all excited for The Punisher?

Extra Tidbit: For those worried about the new Disney streaming service, at this time it won't affect the Netflix Marvel shows. They are staying where they are.
Source: AITH

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