Movie Cricket is reporting that Marvel has bought back the rights to both Blade and The Punisher. Blade going back to Marvel is new and actually pretty shocking, while The Punisher was actually bought back sometime last year.
This is good and bad news for me. Good because we might actually see some more films featuring these gritty comic book characters and bad because Marvel might try and go the PG13 route, since most R-rated comic book movies haven’t been panning out lately.
Punisher: War Zone in my mind is the closest we will ever get to a good Punisher film. Sure, the 2004 version worked better as far as telling a story and giving us emotions, but man Thomas Jane sure made The Punisher look like a crying little bitch. At least Ray Stevenson and Lexi Alexander gave us the darker side of the character. I’d even go as far as saying Ray Stevenson‘s lack of emotions in War Zone is spot on for the character. The Punisher is a vigilante. He kills because it makes him feel better. It started as revenge for his family, but it kept escalating. Obviously he wants to help good people by punishing the corrupt, but I always liked the idea of him just being a troubled person inside who couldn’t figure out how to cope with his family’s death. The self-satisfaction he gets after killing dozens of mob bosses is sick, but different for your normal comic book character.
Punisher: War Zone was cheesy and really silly, but it was loaded with violence and shot with a very stylistic eye. I’d take Punisher slaughtering people by the hundreds over Punisher crying over an alcoholic beverage.
So this news could be good for us fans because maybe Marvel will look for talented writers and fans to help adapt The Punisher for the big screen again. If they do make another movie and they water it down for PG13, then expect to lose out on at least one ticket. I don’t care what anyone says, The Punisher is an R-rated character and not even an excellent script or story can change that. It would be totally missing the character.
As for Blade, I think Marvel should just let him rest. Wesley Snipes played the perfect Blade. The first film was really good, but the second managed to be better. Blade II still sits somewhere towards the top of my list of best comic book character movies. While the third one does suck, I’d still probably take it over a Blade remake or reboot.
If they choose to make a fourth film with Snipes in it then count me in, but a reboot just doesn’t sound needed right now, especially in PG13 form.
It’s really sad seeing adult themed comic book characters struggling in Hollywood. Watchmen didn’t hit all the right notes that Warner Brothers wanted and Punisher: War Zone was a massive flop for Lionsgate back in 2008. At least the first two Blade films did fairly well; some even say they helped pave the way for future comic book characters to come to the big screen, like Spider-Man.
I think it all boils down to how the studios handle the source material. If they take a chance and hire good writers to adapt the character faithfully then it will work! People saw Blade and came back for it two more times, but they didn’t care for Punisher because the first few adaptations were shit and by the time War Zone came out mainstream fans didn’t give a shit and us die-hard fans just wanted to see that white skull again on the big screen, no matter the story!
So what do you think about this news? Should Marvel take another go on the big screen with Blade or The Punisher? Or should they lay them to rest or possibly try them on a new format, possibly a premium TV show?