Tagged: Punisher War Zone

Frank Miller Moves from Central City to 25th Century

Frank Miller Moves from Central City to 25th Century

No sooner did Buck Rogers get optioned for a feature film this summer than the rumors named Frank Miller as the director, something that everyone involved has denied until now.  The Hollywood Reporter and Variety both say Odd Lot Entertainment is close to signing Miller to adapt the comic strip to the screen.

Odd Lot hired Miller to direct The Spirit, which opens on Christmas Day and producer Deborah Del Prete let slip in October that Miller would move to the science fiction hero next. Odd Lot obtained the rights from Nu Image/Millennium, which has been holding the rights since the summer, obtained from the Dille Trust. The Trust is headed by John Flint Dille, a longtime friend of Miller’s, and he may have started the rumor at the time of the deal.

Miller will reportedly write and direct the adaptation which will likely follow his personal dark vision of dystopias.

Acclaimed for his work in comics on Daredevil and The Dark Knight Returns, his film work has been less well received starting with his work on RoboCop 2.  His Sin City was a major success and 300 was based on his Dark Horse graphic novel, although it was adapted by Zack Snyder.  Miller is making his solo debut on The Spirit, based on Will Eisner’s legendary comic strip.  Early reviews broke yesterday and have been uniformly negative.  This could well be the second straight super-hero misfire from Lionsgate, which delivered Punisher War Zone DOA earlier this month.

Buck Rogers was based on a 1928 novella, Armageddon 2419 AD by Philip Francis Nowlan which appeared in Amazing Stories. It quickly spawned a sequel and the stories caught the imagination of John F. Dille, president of the National Newspaper Service syndicate. He brought the feature to the newspapers as a comic strip in 1929, coming to own the property. America’s first SF comic strip, it was written by Nowlan with art by Dick Calkins. Through the years, the strip was graced with terrific art from the likes of Murphy Anderson and George Tuska, until it ended in 1967. The strip was revived in 1979 by artist Gray Morrow and writers Jim Lawrence and Cary Bates lasting until the strip’s ending in 1983.

Buck Rogers has appeared in comic books (with stunning Frank Frazetta art), serials (with Buster Crabbe), a four-times-a-week radio serial from 1932 through 1947; a 1950 half-hour television series and the 1979 NBC series (the horrible adaptation with Gil Gerard).

The Dille Trust under Flint Dille has repeatedly attempted to revive the character for modern audiences through Role Playing games, comics and media. All the attempts have yet to capture the fancy of today’s audiences.

Kevin McKidd Wants the Uru Hammer

Kevin McKidd Wants the Uru Hammer

Kevin McKidd is a hot property right now.  The Rome star is of course ticketed for the big screen version of the HBO series should it actually get made.  Currently, he’s the latest male hottie on Grey’s Anatomy and remains interested in visiting Asgard in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor film.

He told IGN at the  premiere of Punisher: War Zone that there’s been "a lot of back and forth" about the project of late. No formal casting on the July 2010 film has been announced although shooting needs to begin in 2009 for the effects-heavy film to have a chance at making its release date.

“McKidd stressed that the part that he’s up for is indeed that of Thor and not a supporting role,” IGN said.

New ‘Punisher: War Zone’ Clip Premieres Online

New ‘Punisher: War Zone’ Clip Premieres Online

An exclusive clip has premiered over at the newly launched official Web site for Punisher: War Zone. The video, which launches automatically on the site’s homepage, begins with an introduction from the film’s director, Lexi Alexander.

Shot at the editing bay for War Zone, Alexander states in the video that she’s "very excited about [the film], and I wanted to personally thank you for your positive reinforcement and your commitment to Frank Castle and his mythology."

"I’m happy to report that we have a great movie coming December 5th," she concludes.

This marks Alexander’s first appearance affiliated with Punisher: War Zone since the reportedly ugly departure between the director and Lionsgate, the studio behind the film. It’s unclear from the video whether Alexander and the studio have put aside their differences or if this introduction was filmed prior to the rift announced in July.

The clip itself does a good job of showing why War Zone earned an R rating, though there are no heads exploding like so much watermelon in this exclusive footage. In the clip, Frank Castle surgically removes several armed threats in an unspecified building, dispatching his enemies as only the Punisher can.

Punisher: War Zone focuses on vigilante Frank Castle’s one-man war on crime and his eventual showdown with the immeasurably maniacal Jigsaw. The film stars Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz and Wayne Knight. Lexi Alexander directs the feature.

‘Punisher’ Gets R-Rating

‘Punisher’ Gets R-Rating

The Motion Picture Association of America has sentenced Punisher: War Zone with an R-rating. According to CHUD, the R was granted for "pervasive strong brutal violence, language and some drug use."

Everyone who watched the red band trailer for Punisher: War Zone saw the exact same thing: disgusting, humiliating, bone-chilling violence at its absolute brainiest. For fans of Garth Ennis’ run on Punisher for Marvel’s MAX imprint, this was a very good sign. But panic broke shortly over speculation that the film would be watered down in pursuit of a PG-13 rating.

The rumors stemmed from reports that director Lexi Alexander had been unceremoniously dropped from the project due to conflicts with Lionsgate. Alexander reportedly disagreed with Lionsgate’s desire to pull punches with the violent content and their desire to use heavy metal music instead of the planned original score. All signs pointed to yet another cajones-free Punisher film.

The granting of the R-rating is sure to cool some fears as it’s likely to stick closer to Alexander’s vision, but the film is still marred with bad history. Thomas Jane, who played Frank Castle in 2004’s The Punisher, notoriously dropped out of Punisher: War Zone back in 2007. In a letter to Ain’t It Cool News, Jane wrote:

"I am, sadly — no, make that heartbrokenly — f*** it — just rip out the heart and stomp it into the pavement a couple of times — pulling out. Punisher fans are already fighting an uphill battle as it is. And I’ve always felt a responsibility to fight that fight for them and with them so that Frank Castle gets the treatment he deserves."

Jane closed the letter by calling the vigilante sequel "a movie that I just don’t believe in."

Many will argue that since The Punisher was universally panned, Jane’s opinion doesn’t amount to much. Still, it’s worth pondering why the acclaimed actor felt so strongly against the project.

Punisher: War Zone
centers on Frank Castle facing his most deadly foe yet, Jigsaw. The film, directed by Lexi Alexander, stars Ray Stevenson (Rome), Dominic West (The Wire), Julie Benz (Dexter) and Wayne Knight (Seinfeld). Punisher: War Zone will be released by Lionsgate on December 5, 2008.

‘Punisher War Zone’ Teaser Poster Released

‘Punisher War Zone’ Teaser Poster Released

Punisher War Zone won’t be hitting theaters until December, but that’s not about to stop the marketing machine at Lions Gate from advertising it. The first poster for the film has been released and, well, it’s about what you’d expect. The Punisher loves bullets and he loves skulls, so why not combine the two?

It looks like an image ready made for a shirt at Hot Topic, if it isn’t already on sale there already. At least the poster lets us know that lots of bullets will be fired in the film. Will there be anymore parking ticket antics with fire hydrants like in the last Punisher movie though?

Punisher War Zone hits theaters on December 5. The film stars Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle/The Punisher, Dominic West as Jigsaw and Wayne Knight as Microchip.

(via UGO)

‘Punisher: War Zone’ Website Launches

‘Punisher: War Zone’ Website Launches

Lionsgate has launched the official website for the forthcoming Punisher: War Zone film.

There’s not a lot to see at the moment, but there are a couple of pictures in the gallery that haven’t been released before. More content will undoubtedly be added to the site as the film’s release date of September 12 approaches.

Viewers of the site can register for updates from Marvel so they’ll get the latest news about the movie as soon as it’s released. I have a feeling Tom Jane won’t be one of the people who registers.

Punisher: War Zone finds the gun-toting vigilante running from the law as the Punisher Task Force monitors his every move. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also being hunted by Jigsaw, a horribly deformed mob boss out to get revenge on The Punisher. The film stars Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle, Dominic West as Jigsaw, Wayne Knight as Microchip and Dash Mihok as Detective Martin Soap.

Screenwriter Removes Name From ‘Punisher: War Zone’

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.


New Punisher: War Zone photos

New Punisher: War Zone photos

Lexi Alexander, director of the upcoming Punisher: War Zone film, recently posted some photos on her website from the set  in Vancouver.

The images provide the first look (actually, a very tiny peek) at Ray Stevenson in the Punisher gear.

It seems that Punisher series cover artist Tim Bradstreet is also providing some input on the film, as Alexander posts an excerpt from one of the messages she received from Bradstreet:

I had an opportunity to see a ton of stills from the film and it looks sensational. The Jigsaw makeup is top. LOVED seeing Doug Hutchinson look like such a hard assed nut, and of course, Ray Stevenson looks AWESOME. They lit a lot of it like I light and [they] did a great job.”


Superhero Novelizations for 2008

Superhero Novelizations for 2008

With the summer super-hero blockbusters come the inevitable novelizations. It used to be almost every movie from every genre would receive the prose treatment but with time, that has been winnowed dramatically.  These days it appears just the genre films get the attention and not even all those receive a book. 

The blockbuster, tent pole films for 2008 will be receiving not only novelizations but tie-in and spin-off books galore.  One, Speed Racer, does not have a novelization but a ton of related books for the younger audiences.

Here’s a look at the 2008 novelization list, in order of film release, with some rather familiar names attached:


Iron Man by Peter David

Speed Racer, none scheduled

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull by James Rollins

Incredible Hulk by Peter David

Wanted, none scheduled

Get Smart, none scheduled

Hellboy II: The Golden Army by Robert Greenberger

The Dark Knight by Dennis O’Neil

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, unknown

The X-Files 2, none scheduled

Punisher: War Zone, none scheduled

Star Trek, unknown