Screenwriter Removes Name From ‘Punisher: War Zone’
Kurt Sutter, co-producer and writer for the television series The Shield, has requested that his name be formally removed from the screenwriting credits for Punisher: War Zone.
Sutter claims that, after rewriting a script by Nick Santora for the film, his script was later rewritten and changed to such a degree that he no longer feels his name should be included in the film’s credits.
In Sutter’s post about the decision, he explains that the only piece of his script to appear in the film is the set piece in which Jigsaw, the villain of the film, earns his nickname. Sutter adds that his original vision for the film — a a departure from what he saw as standard comic-book adaptations — is quite different from the actual story used in production.
The other reason I removed my name is because I didn’t want credit. My pitch, my vision, for the Punisher franchise was something much different. I tried to rip Frank Castle from the comic book world and place him in the real streets of NYC. Castle is the only superhero without powers. He’s a tortured, highly skilled soldier with a really bad anger problem. I always felt we should see Frank in some place uber-real and gritty. I threw away the first draft written by Nick Santora and did a page one rewrite. I changed the locations, the characters, the story. I dropped Frank in a real New York City with real villians, real cops, real relationships. To me, the Punisher deserved more than the usual comic book redress. It shouldn’t just follow the feature superhero formula.
Sutter also acknowledges previous Punisher actor Thomas Jane’s disdain for his script, writing, "I’m not saying my draft was perfect or even good for that matter. God knows, Thomas Jane wasn’t fond of it."
It’s also worth noting that Sutter followed up his initial announcement with another post the following day — an apology of sorts — stating that his decision should not be interpreted as a negative assessment of the Punisher: War Zone film or its working script.
Punisher: War Zone is scheduled for a Sept. 12, 2008, release.