Opening with a scene/yelp recalling The Bride’s headshot in Kill Bill, the teaser trailer for director Lexi Alexander‘s Punisher: War Zone plays it hard and fast underneath cyber-noirish lighting (Swordfish, much?) that is sure to turn some people off. However, besides an emasculated bit of firearm ballet atop a chandelier (re: marketing dept., ditch it!), there are hints that War Zone could be a solid R-rated action entry free of the sarcasm seen in Crank and Shoot ‘Em Up and much rougher than the barcoded dork-out that was Hitman. One film that seems to have inspired the editing here, per Frank Castle’s light flickering intro, is The Crow…if set inside a laser tag arena.
Actor Tom Jane was a dead-on looker for Castle in the absolutely dreadful, Florida-set 2004 Punisher, but Ray Stevenson (Rome) has a grittier, crazed appearance that nicely compliments the vigilante’s signature, mob-ridden cityscape. Earlier in the year, some readers were fond of saying that Stevenson looked too much like Steven Seagal, but I don’t think the snark/comparisons hold up after this. What about you?
The teaser barely shows us Dominic West (The Wire) playing Jigsaw (a split second outside a hotel) or much of the graphic violence that Alexander has boasted about on her blog (a red band trailer surely awaits), but War Zone definitely looks like an improvement. Bonus points for not having an aloof John Travolta with a villainous hair-don’t. As an early supporter, I’ve found it surprising how many people have dismissed this flick and Alexander (Green Street Hooligans) from day one, and I think the trailer will put some on pause until the next one.
After Iron Man, isn’t it odd/cool to see the Marvel logo on a trailer for an R-rated flick? If this flops it’s probably the last time to boot. Good thing or no?
Punisher: War Zone opens on December 5th.
Discuss: Thoughts on the first teaser trailer? How does this compare to when you saw the trailer for 2004′s The Punisher (if you can remember that, ha)? Do any of you guys/gals like the chandelier scene (I mean, really)?
Please Recommend /Film on Facebook
UGO has the first poster for Punisher: War Zone, which is probably much better than the actual film.
A couple new photos from Lexi Alexander’s Punisher: War Zone have shown up online. The film stars Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, who faces his most deadly foe yet: Jigsaw. I’ve also included the previously released photos below. As always, click to enlarge.
Yup, looks pretty shitty. Punisher: War Zone hits theaters on December 5th 2008.
An umbrella won’t help. Hot off the $100 million opening of Iron Man (nice job Steve!), the ever powerful Marvel Studios opened its war chest up today, revealing the company’s in-house feature roll out through 2011. Here’s what it looks like…
April 30th: Iron Man 2
June 4th: Thor (directed by Matthew Vaughn)
May 6th: The First Avenger: Captain America
July (day N/A): The Avengers
So, two Avengers films in 2011, eh? Unprecedented. DC’s Justice League is bummed. In addition to the line-up above, Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man is still in the planning stages at the studio, and obviously June brings us The Incredible Hulk, followed by Punisher: War Zone in December. Sure, you could say today marks a new dawn for the superhero movie. It’s a shame that Fav doesn’t have an uncensored Twitter.
Discuss: Which of these Marvel films are you anticipating the most? Or, uh oh, are you over it? What do you think about two Avengers flicks in 2011?
via Yahoo! Finance
Confident female action movie directors with veddy dirty mouths rock. Lexi Alexander (above), the candid director behind Punisher: War Zone, has posted an update for the semi-quiet Marvel reboot on her tidy official site. She informs that the film was screened for studio brass this month, that it went reasonably well, and she seems cool with the flick now moving from its original September 12th release to December 5th.
Ms. Alexander on the “studio experience”…
“Well, thank God [the screening] went well and, although I’ll probably have to compromise on a few minor notes, it’s not nearly as bad as some of my filmmaker friends predicted it would be. I guess I got away with an actual okay studio experience (knocking on wood since it’s not quite over yet).”
And her NSFW thoughts on Frank Castle (played by Rome‘s Ray Stevenson, above right with his stunt double) now raining/reigning blood during the jolly holidays; she includes a nice shout to the comic book/action fans rah-rahing for a hard R-rating (the kids are getting restless)…
“[The studio] also moved our release date to December 5th, which is, according to my reps, a much, much better date. I myself would have thought that people will think twice about going to see an extremely violent movie the closer it gets to Jesus’ B-day, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever other holy holiday you’re celebrating. Well, the box office records prove different and instead, all you sick fucks get more blood thirsty that time of year. (And I say that with lovingly affection, cause I’m relying on all the sick fucks to show up).”
We haven’t seen much at all from the latest Punisher, but I really like Alexander’s attitude thus far. She just kinda gives ‘r and if I had to choose, after being strapped to a lawn chair, between watching Punisher: War Zone or the similar Max Payne (which is rumored to be going PG-13: Rockstar Games, wassup with that?) 100 times in a row, I’d choose the former off loony intuition. Crush much?
The official website for this September’s Punisher re-do Punisher: War Zone is now online. The site is pretty bare right now, offering a mere two stills from the film, but the presentation is heavy on tone, with hushed police sirens, faint voices and a buzzing drone of dread all present as gunshots pierce glass and guns smoke on the image above. Actor Ray Stevenson (Rome) definitely has the character’s stare of forthcoming death down. Check it out, and there’s an option to register for updates as well.
Buzz on the Lionsgate/Marvel film is not the greatest, a lot of that due to the last craptastic Punisher with Tom Jane, but hearing that War Zone uses all of the fuel in its R-rated tank, is set in a gritty metropolis and not Floriduh, and then peeping the site makes me hopeful. And the fact that the director, Lexi Alexander (Hooligans) is a cool gal and a bad ass in her own right (re: karate champion)…I dunno, it seems to be clicking to me.
Discuss: When you think about Punisher: War Zone, what crosses your mind? What’s the gnarliest R-rated comic book movie? The Crow? Sin City? Dolph’s naked-meditating-in-sewer Punisher?
Screenwriter Kurt Sutter has removed his screenwriting credit from Marvel and Lionsgate’s superhero reboot, Punisher: War Zone, due in September, and he’s explained his decision quite frankly on his personal blog, while alluding to dissonance with the flick’s creative direction as well. He says that he didn’t “deserve” credit for the screenplay, as little of his script remains, and he follows that by saying he doesn’t “want” credit because his vision for Frank Castle/The Punisher will not appear on screen.
“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. Apparently, I was the only one who shared that vision.”
What’s odd is that Sutter’s vision here shares the same grittier, darker tone that director Lexi Alexander has mentioned and played up in interviews for the film, so what might the final product be like…
“The final script, rewritten almost completely by Holloway and Marcum was the perfect comic book formula — simple story, very obvious dialog and the inclusion of as many characters from the anthology that a movie will allow (this is not a spoiler, all the characters were announced when they began shooting). I’m sure true fans of the Punisher comic books will enjoy this movie. It will do exactly what a comic book movie should do — fill seats, set up a sequel. …I wish Marvel and the producers all the success. If I had to make a wager, I say it will open huge. Be ready for Punisher 3.”
He goes on to say his comments aren’t “sour grapes,” but what I find bothersome is that Punisher: War Zone‘s R-rating and the character’s lack of superpowers frees this project up to break the very mold Sutter finds utterly predictable. I mean “simple story, very obvious dialogue” has a little bite in it, no? I always pictured The Punisher’s ideal cinematic world as being similar to the underworld in The Crow, and while many fanboys are shouting “direct to DVD” on this, casting Dominic West (The Wire) as Jigsaw was inspired and a great way to distance the flick from the terribly mismanaged 2004 version. And Sutter’s work on The Shield would lend itself to a fresh direction as well. I’m not sure whether we should read between the lines here, but it’s interesting to get this info straight from the screenwriter, one who’s becoming known for not holding back.
I’ve written 29 news stories in the last 48 hours, yet, believe it or not, wasn’t able to get to everything I’ve wanted to show you. I usually let go of these “missed opportunities”. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day. But I’ve decided to make it a new years resolution (yes, an early one) to compile some these passed over gems in a new “Page 2″ link blog. Basically, Page 2 will contain all the news not fit to print. I’m not sure how often I’ll be doing this, but we’ll see. You are reading the introduction to the first edition. Don’t turn away and don’t underestimate their value, some good links can be found below.
Emmy Rossum (Poseidon), Eriko Tamura (Heroes), and newcomer Joon Park (Speed Racer) have joined the cast of 20th Century Fox’s live-action adaptation of Dragon Ball Z. Meh! [THR]
Principal Photography has wrapped on Punisher: War Zone. More Meh! [SHH]
James Bond star Daniel Craig might have inadvertently given away the title to the upcoming Casino Royale sequel. Rumor has it that the film will be titled “007″ because, as Craig explained “the first movie dealt with him earning his 00 status and now he is 007 for the first time”. [AICN]
Universal has put the Smokin Aces‘ direct-to-DVD prequel on hold until the writers strike is over. Apparently the studio’s budget of the current script draft came in at $17 million, which isn’t too far off from the original theatrical film. When the strike is over, the writers will be brought back in to do some chopping. Joe Carnahan writes: “We’ve already made contact with most of the actors we want to return but we’ve still got a few tricks up our sleeve and some surprises.” [SmokinJoe]
I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the screenwriters are on strike. Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody has found a way to spend some of her free time. She will now be writing a weekly column in Entertainment Weekly called Binge Thinking (clever). The first column is about Juno’s unexciting press tour. And better yet, you can read it online for free. Hey, it’s better than Stephen King’s column (as if that’s an accomplishment). Congrads to Diablo on the new gig. [EW]
John Singleton has been confirmed as the director of the big screen adaptation of The A-Team. Just what we need, another bad television adaptation. [cine]
Jessica Simpson‘s latest movie is such a stinker, it’s being released direct to DVD. [Perez]
Wizard Magazine cast Ray Park as Snake Eye in their version of a live-action G.I. Joe movie nearly seven years ago. [TMB]
Did You Know: In the late-1980′s, Pixar was developing a the Oscar winning short film Tin Toy into a christmas special titled “A Tin Toy Christmas.” The project got shelved but later became the inspiration for Toy Story. [Jim Hill]
The X-Files 2 is now in production, and set photos are beginning to leak. Check out this new one of David Duchovny as Fox Mulder. [CS]
The Lost Boys 2 writer Hans Rodionoff is working on a four-issue limited comic book series for Wildstorm on the Frog Bros. Rodionoff says, the series will “bridge the movies together – what Edgar and Alan Frog were doing between the first movie and the second one. We’ll get to play with Haim’s character a little bit.” I’m in. [Shock]
Cool Posts From Around the Web: