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The Punisher: WarZone

Tim Bradstreet

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We had a person directly involved in the film come here and put the majority of the rumors to rest.


As much as I respect Steve, do you honestly believe he would come here and bash his own movie?


That's hardly all Lexi thought.


Let me refresh your memory on how Lexi thinks...


"Yes …don’t expect this Punisher to be set in an ultra-realistic world. Every director has to make a call on the vision and style of a film and putting The Punisher in a realistic and gritty setting would be like having Detective Vic Mackey of The Shield run around with a big ass skull on his chest, or Ray Liotta’s character in NARC suddenly go: “Hey, I think I just saw a guy whose face looks like a Jigsaw puzzle.” Ha, ha."










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Guest FADoss

TL, you're funny.


The Nolan Batman films have been MUCH more faithful to the comic books than ANYTHING done on the Punisher films so far. They have also managed to add an adult feel without 70s cinema action or anything Peckinpah would have directed...


They have also INCLUDED classic Batman villains.


They have ALSO included a cool version of the Bat suit that gives you a feel for the character without giving you spandex.


So yes, Dark Knight is a fuckin comic book movie might get a dead man an Oscar.


But it's STILL a comic book film.


THAT is what many of us want from The Punisher. Not a cool 70s action drama. Not a story of Joe Blow Vigilante...


We want a COMIC BOOK movie treated with respect.


Your continued ASSAULT on the intelligence of comic book readers disturbs me TL, especially for a guy who is such a Wolverine fan, loved the Iron Man flick (VERY COMIC BOOK) and had said wonderful things about THE INCREDIBLE HULK.


Some of us find it SAD that the Punisher is now only synonymous with the work of Ennis. SOME of us dig his work AND War Journal. SOME of us found Frank very interesting mingled in with costumed heroes. It makes his mission and his impact that much more impressive in my book. A normal guy who, with Spiderman and Daredevil etc roaming NYC feels the need to PUNISH the corrupt, because the OTHER guys ain't cutting the mustard.


I dig that. Doesn't make me STUPID. Doesn't make my opinion not count when looking at films.


And anyone who doesn't want to see a comic book movie jump straight to the screen (Mike) should never watch 300 or SIN CITY. SO stylized in the form of the comics in COLOR and dialogue...and yet praised by so many on here.


When I go to see a movie about a comic book...I want more than a skull (didn't even get that in Lundgren's film) in common with the actual character.


OH, and if Steve thought the film was SHIT why bother coming here at ALL?!!! Thanks for calling the man a liar.



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The Nolan Batman films have been MUCH more faithful to the comic books than ANYTHING done on the Punisher films so far. They have also INCLUDED classic Batman villains.


Hensleigh's Punisher featured the most physically challenging villain from the comic: The Russian. Harry Heck is also a villain from the comic that got an expanded role in the film.


So yes, Dark Knight is a fuckin comic book movie that might get a dead man an Oscar. But it's STILL a comic book film. THAT is what many of us want from The Punisher. Not a cool 70s action drama.


The Dark Knight is a crime drama.


We want a COMIC BOOK movie treated with respect.


If you think Warzone is that movie, you clearly have no clue as to what you're getting.


Some of us find it SAD that the Punisher is now only synonymous with the work of Ennis.


I think you're all alone on this one. Ennis redefined Frank Castle. If it weren't for Ennis, Jane and Hensleigh would not have made the film.


*Oh in case you didn't know, Warzone is "supposed" to be based on Ennis' MAX.


OH, and if Steve thought the film was SHIT why bother coming here at ALL?!!! Thanks for calling the man a liar.


I didn't call him a liar. I said it wouldn't make any sense for him to come here and bash his own movie.


*It would make alotta sense for him to try and make it look good, specially since the stuff he writes here is being passed on to every other site on the net.




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Guest AdminGuyX
Some of us find it SAD that the Punisher is now only synonymous with the work of Ennis.


Some of us read The Punisher LONG before Ennis wrote it. :)


He was a good fit though, and he brought his own popularity to a title that needed the kick in the ass too.


And seeing as how he's stepped down now, we'll get to see how someone else defines Frank Castle.


Should be interesting. At least, I hope so!!


I didn't call him a liar. I said it wouldn't make any sense for him to come here and bash his own movie.


Well, you come on strong TL, so folks can mistake your meaning. I knew what you meant though. I disagree, I have a feeling Steve is being sincere. He hasn't really struck me as playing the old hollyood game.


But it's STILL a comic book film.


Now Fred, in all fairness I think you know where TL is coming from. For decades "comic book movies" were the same thing as "this will suck" to the general audience. TDK has taken a huge step forward (and not alone, Iron Man didn't suck, the new Hulk didn't suck) in possibly reversing that. We'll realy have to see if the studios get the point. Time will tell.


I have a feeling they did, because of $$$$. But in 3 years lets revisit this thread and see how we all feel about it then, Y'know?


For my money, I just want a GOOD film. I don't care if it's a book, a comic, a cartoon, or something original.


It's an interesting time for comic book fans who also happen to be film fans (are there comic fans who ARE NOT film fans? Does that happen?)


But taste is subjective, and style is subjective.


I doubt this will be the last cinematic go-round for our boy Frank.





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Guest AdminGuyX

I'm with you, I grew up on the costumed Punisher. I love those books too. But on screen, I want the fatigues and bullet proof vest Punisher.


Which by the way was one of my favorite parts of the 04 punisher. His rig at the end was spot on perfect IMHO.

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Other than Frank's neighbors and the Russian I can't think of one other thing from "Welcome Back, Frank". Other than the "torture" scene I can't remember one other thing from "War Zone". I can't think of anything at all from "War Journal". Only the last couple of minutes had parts of "Year One".


I've already posted these, fuck it anyway.




I'm digging through the comic box this evening and find "The Punisher: War Zone #1" from 1992. Because it shares a name with the new film I thumbed through it to see if there were any inspiration for the 08 flick. I didn't see any, BUT I saw a word for word scene played out from the 04 film.


The torture scene with Mickey, while cool, seemed a bit out of character...as if Frank were having too much fun. BUT here you have it straight from the source material.





Well lets see


The fight with the Russian was just about scene for scene from Welcome Back, Frank, when Dave is getting his rings pulled out is from Welcome Back, Frank, the way the Punisher put the skull on his Kevlar body armor was from Punisher: Year One, when Frank gives that big speech just before the big gun fight near the end is just about taken from Punisher: Year One, the gun fight at the end of the film is taken from Punisher: Year One, and when Frank left Dave, Joan and Bumpo money at the end is from Welcome Back, Frank.

There are a few pictures in this link



It's interesting to note that in a black&white comic book, Marvel Preview Presents, the Punisher went to a Punta Verde retreat, on the Gulf Coast of Florida to find the people who killed his family.


Others are somewhat from the comic. Like when the Punisher is drinking heavily was from Punisher: Year One. The shooting knife was a weapon seen in Punisher: WJ Vol.1, Welcome Back, Frank and a few other issues. As for the flaming skull.... it should be noted that many times in past Punisher comic books the image of his skull appeared in the smoke after an explosion or other times it appeared on the ground, on a wall, or in the sky.



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I know I saw that shooting knife in Welcome Back Frank.


I'm even almost sure that's how he killed Harry Heck in it.



Nope, he killed the two goons in his apartment with it. He shoots Heck a bunch of times while Heck was sitting in a car. "He dodged a bullet... but not thirty" or something like that.

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I thought he killed Heck with an uzi in welcome back. It's been a few years since I read it. I think he said something about Harry being able to dodge a bullet. How about thirty. If it's the same guy I'm thinking of.


Yeah, that's him, they actual expanded on his character in the movie.


I've been joking that they've done the reverse Harry Heck with Maginity and the Bulats in War Zone.

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Yeah lookin through my issues of Welcome Back Frank, I'm also seeing the stuff where Joan nurses Frank after The Russian fucks him up in the movie is from the part in the comic where he comes back from that gunfight with Ma's crew.


He collapses in the floor and its Joan and Dave that come to the rescue.


Everybody that says Hensleigh didn't know what he was doing needs to get their heads checked.


We should do a frame by frame comparison of what he took from the comic.


I'm gonna have to plug in my scanner.



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i just want to say one thing........when Mr. Logan and FADoss make this movie together.....that DVD better have a special edition of you two throwing each other against the story boards...then you two duke'in it out on the set....THEN you two stranglin' each other in the editing room......because no matter what kind of movie you two make....i'm buying 10 copies just for the behind the scenes mayhem!!!!!!!! :P

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Fred's playing a key supporting character in my Neo Western film.


I'll make sure to include a bonus feature on the DVD where me and Fred go into the theatre about to watch Warzone and then it'll cut to us coming out of the theatre.


The reactions will be priceless.


Any further info on the film will be kept under wraps until this Thanksgiving when I'll be releasing a Trailer in 1080p HD online.



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Some interesting words by Garth Ennis on The Punisher's motivations in MAX...


"I see the deaths of Frank's family being less important to what he is now. The deaths are what flipped the switch, but as I think I’ve said in the book, he’s killed something in the region of thousands of people by now. I’m sure he’s killed the people who killed his family, the people who ordered the shooting, and the people who the shooters were originally shooting at, that caught his family in the crossfire. He’s taken his revenge. What he’s doing now is something that he has to do – something that, probably if he was prevented from doing, he’d kill himself if he couldn’t, because his life would have no meaning."


That's for ALL the people here that have said Hensleigh's movie fucked up Castle's motivation to punish.


REVENGE WAS a key factor in Ennis' view of the character.


As random as his family's murder was - Castle STILL went out for revenge BEFORE he became a Punisher.





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Guest FADoss

And because Ennis said so, that makes it right?


Also, why does representing aspects from the comics have to make it a BAD film? Everytime I say comic book movie, someone cringes. Watchmen will be a comic book movie. Sin City was. 300 was. Were those BAD?


And The Dark Knight is a COMIC BOOK MOVIE dammit. :)


AND I don't really think that War Zone will be what I'm looking for either TL. Again, I'm digging Fraction.



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What follows is my latest posting to Live Journal. It's very long so if you can't be arsed to read it, I won't mind. But this site, RAW Entertainment is mentioned, as is Thomas Jane, so I thought some of you might be interested.


22 August 2008 @ 01:30 pm

Punisher: War Zone rumors deconstructed


I have a very dear friend who’s been around Hollywood for a long time. He’s a unique person here, because his ethics are still intact AND he still has his sanity. (Which means he’s NOT rich!) I think you’ll agree that’s a unique combination here! So I asked him to check out Punisher: War Zone, Lion’s Gate, and all the surrounding hooplah. He did, bless his sweet heart, and he wrote a fooking dissertation! Well, he’s brilliant, too. Did I mention I adore him? I do!!!


What follows is his report, which I have NOTedited, even though it conflicts with some of my own previously held opinions. At the end of his letter, I’ve attached a bit of a time line he wrote, so people can follow what happened and when.


No, I will NOT tell you who he is. So please don’t bother asking. His credibility is in what he writes, which is balanced and fair. You’ll decide on your own, neh?






Sorry it took so long. I think I’ve read enough on “Punisher: War Zone” and Lionsgate Films (hereafter PWZ and LGF for brevity) now to offer an educated analysis of what may have happened and why you shouldn’t worry too much.


First I want to dispel a few MISPERCEPTIONS about PWZ, since those have unfairly put some people off.


MISPERCEPTION #1: "PWZ is a sequel whose script was so horrible that star Thomas Jane walked away from it." Not quite! Per PWZ co-writer Kurt Sutter in a Collider.com interview: "Nick Santora and myself, whose names were on the second big draft, got caught in the crossfire when Tom Jane was growing dissatisfied with the turn Punisher was taking. Tom lashed out at the script using it as his scapegoat for exiting the project. [...] I like Tom Jane, I’ve had lunch with him, think he’s a decent guy. But I always felt that if Marvel really wanted to re-invent the franchise, you'd have to re-invent the Punisher". And PWZ did in fact morph from sequel to REBOOT, so recasting was likely inevitable anyway to avoid confusion. Tom himself said that his reason for leaving was that LGF rejected Walter Hill as director and he stood by Hill -- but I think he saw the writing on the wall and left before he could be recast. Tom strikes me as generally bitter about his parting with PWZ and even told fans at July 2008's San Diego Comic-Con that PWZ is a "piece of s***" (though he has no way of knowing this), but to his credit he later wished new Punisher Ray Stevenson well ("He sounds like a cool guy [who] loves the character and wants to do him justice. For his sake I hope the movie doesn't suck.").


Sutter, whose draft began the shift towards rebooting and was cited as Tom's other reason for leaving, ultimately removed his name from credit arbitration because so little of his work remained; credited writers are Santora, Marcum & Holloway (the latter two are Marvel's "go-to guys" whose "Iron Man" later did big business). The only person who HAS seen the actual shooting script AND publicly commented on it is Kurt Sutter. His verdict per his blog: while it was obviously not HIS vision, he graciously said it was "tight", "followed the perfect comic book formula", and he predicted "true fans of the Punisher comic books will enjoy this movie" and "it will open huge".


How will that shooting script translate to the screen? "The Spirit" producer Deborah del Prete has seen PWZ director Lexi Alexander's rough cut and said she loved it and thought it would please fans. We've no word yet on how much of Lexi's cut remains intact, but PWZ cinematographer Steve Gainer said that the August 16 cut that he viewed was "something wonderful" that he "loved" -- he sounded proud of the results.


MISPERCEPTION #2: "Nobody will see PWZ because there's no star power in the cast." PWZ is probably relying not on big names but on a high concept designed to appeal to a niche audience of Punisher fans as well as a general action fanbase. Punisher '04 had a bigger budget but higher overhead because of big names like John Travolta, and it performed poorly, so I can understand LGF refining their strategy and leveraging their risks. In any case, PWZ's cast are all experienced actors, if not widely known.


Now I want to discuss the RUMORS about PWZ that have unfairly put some people off. LGF could put an end to all of the bad publicity pretty easily with a press release, but for whatever reason they haven't, so I'm simply going to analyze what is known and how it may affect the finished film; the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.


Many agree that PWZ director Lexi Alexander is a tough cookie whose enthusiasm for her work is infectious. Cast members Ray Stevenson and Dominic West both attested to being uninspired by early drafts they read, and Lexi talked them into doing the film based on sheer enthusiasm. Crew member Tom Book hadn't cared for the project at first, but he attested that Lexi soon inspired everyone to believe they were working on "a masterpiece" so they worked diligently through the packed 40-day shoot consisting of mostly wintry Montreal nights. Her blog inspired the many Internet-savvy Punisher fans to get excited about the film as well.


On the flip side, I believe Lexi's made her fair share of enemies (and who in Hollywood hasn't?). The IESB source who slammed Lexi's rough cut as "one of the worst movies ever made" strikes me as just some malcontent Lexi pissed off, especially given that UGO's more impartial "Detective Soap" said that in spite of Lexi's "Jekyll/Hyde" personality, her footage was fantastic. It hasn't escaped me that Lexi's "Hooligans" co-writer Dougie Brimson popped out of nowhere on the FilmSchoolRejects comments section just to retort to Tom Book that Lexi was "disloyal" and "devious", adding "trust me, I'm far from alone in thinking that way."


So while Lexi may be a brilliant director with a talent for inspiring artists to work hard for her vision, I think she is probably very protective of that vision and tends to butt heads with people who might threaten it. The 2002 Oscar-nominated film she directed before PWZ, "Johnny Flynton", was a 37-minute independent film she had great control over. She co-wrote, directed, and executive produced 2005's feature-length "Hooligans", scrapping with her co-writer along the way. But with PWZ she was suddenly working with a big Hollywood studio that was undergoing change.


I believe that LGF greenlit PWZ, Lexi delivered, and LGF was mostly pleased with her April 1 screening, as Lexi reported in her blog -- and then the "Midnight Meat Train" (MMT) business began affecting things. Peter Block, who was in charge when both MMT & PWZ were greenlit, left LGF in November 2007 and Joe Drake replaced him. Both MMT and PWZ are bloody, violent, hard-R films based on properties with existing NICHE audiences. Given how Drake shuffled around MMT's release date and then "dumped" it into only 100 backwater dollar theaters with plans for a quick DVD release, I can imagine producer Gale Anne Hurd became concerned and wanted to save PWZ from MMT's fate, so she brought in the Hulk (2008) editors to make Lexi's cut more mainstream, as reported by FilmSchoolRejects' source. I believe the UGO rumor that LGF clashed with Lexi over her publishing unapproved publicity materials to her blog. I believe the FilmSchoolRejects rumor that Lexi's first trailer cut wasn't liked by LGF, so I'm thinking they cut a new one and released that in early June, since Lexi's blog made a point of mentioning she was surprised by it, alarming some that all may not be well. LGF did sack Lexi's chosen composer (Christopher Franke, who had scored both "Johnny Flynton" and "Hooligans"; Charlie Clouser was briefly reported to have come on board, then Michael Wandmacher).


I suspect Lexi was more than simply frustrated by LGF's tightening control over post-production. She had 6 months to prepare for July's Comic-Con, the US's #1 comic book film promotion event, so she would have had to be EXTREMELY pissed off to schedule her honeymoon during it. All of this is consistent with the FilmSchoolRejects and UGO rumors, which agree with each other that Lexi was unusually difficult and unpredictable for a Hollywood director, and that LGF limited her post-production involvement (but did not fire her). FilmSchoolRejects' source also later called bulls*** on LatinoReview's PG-13 rating rumor and confirmed the film will remain rated-R, which cinematographer Steve Gainer also later confirmed.


So PWZ's July 24 2008 Comic-Con panel was conspicuously missing the film's own director, and Gale announced Lexi was on her honeymoon. Then "frustrated" long-time LGF insider "Jigsaw" contacted AICN a day later to say Lexi wasn't on her honeymoon -- she was FIRED along with her composer and couldn't talk because of a "non-disclosure clause". He was probably (misguidedly?) trying to pressure LGF to restore Lexi's involvement and save PWZ from a crap hard-rock soundtrack. I think Lexi took advantage of the controversy to let her feelings be known when that very day she removed all mention of PWZ from her blog and replaced it with a picture of the see/hear/speak no evil monkeys. Surely she was aware of the rumor and the message that picture would send ("if I can't speak, I'll say it with a picture!"). I can't imagine LGF demanded she remove all the good publicity she had generated for PWZ with her blog; she started it only after beginning work on PWZ and mentioned Lionsgate controlling what she could divulge. If Lionsgate asked her not to speak further on PWZ there, it would have been simple enough to not touch the archives and quietly comply in the future. Even if Lionsgate DID ask her to remove all mention of PWZ, it would have been easy for Lexi to replace it with a message like "Lionsgate wishes to control publicity about PWZ now and has asked me to remove everything related to it." So there is perhaps truth to the FilmSchoolRejects rumor that Lexi is "childish" and "erratic" and UGO's rumor that she was a "Jekyll/Hyde" sort who resented LGF's "censorship".


Because Marvel fans seem to live on the Internet, Lexi's blog worked wonders in garnering their support. I can sympathize with her frustration with LGF, but her unprofessional blog stunt fanned a s***storm that eventually only served to torpedo PWZ's image and, oddly enough, stroke Lexi's ego -- Punisher fansites lit up with "Bring Lexi Back" campaigns including a petition and a devoted website (GPA's pwztruth), the latter attacking Gale Anne Hurd as a no-talent butcher of Lexi's film. Quite honestly all of this is futile, since Lexi's further involvement is self-limited because she's already working on a new project per her own blog! It's the very rare director who gets final cut anyway.


Regardless of Lexi's further involvement, I believe Lionsgate is doing its best to deliver a compromise that will please both hardcore Punisher fans and general action fans; the shooting script was good; Lexi's vision was strong and her footage looks great; it's still a bloody violent hard-R (verified publicly by Steve); and it's got a composed score as the film deserves and not a thrashing hard-rock soundtrack (verified privately by Gale).


I will say that with Lexi's blog now silent on PWZ, LGF needs to get correct information out and turn around the damage that was done. The bottom line: if Punisher fans can get past the misperceptions and rumors, they've still got plenty of reason to look forward to PWZ.


So that's my take. Hope it helps, and share as you like.


--------------------------- TIMELINE BELOW --------------------------


This may make things a bit more clear if you've any question. Just note who contacted whom and that may clarify what their motivations were.


1) July 24, 2008: PWZ producer Gale Anne Hurd announced at Comic-Con that director Lexi Alexander had gotten married to the film's first assistant director and did not attend as she was on her honeymoon.


2) July 25, 2008: AICN's Harry Knowles http://www.aintitcool.com/node/37642 claimed that a LGF insider he'd known for years ("Jigsaw") contacted him out of "sheer frustration" to say" Lexi was NOT on her honeymoon and had missed Comic-Con because she had been fired; she couldn't say anything because she was wrapped up in a non-disclosure clause; and LGF had jettisoned Lexi's composer and was going to market the film with a hard rock soundtrack instead of an orchestral score. On the same day, Lexi Alexander wiped her blog of all mention of PWZ and replaced it with a picture of the see/hear/speak no evil monkeys, which seemed to confirm she'd at least been gagged.


3) July 28, 2008: FilmSchoolRejects' Neil Miller http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/new-...-a-war-zone.php pursued LGF for confirmation of the AICN rumors, and finally a "reliable source close to the production" said: Lexi was not fired but she has been "pulled away" from the project; Lexi had turned in a cut for the first trailer that LGF hadn't liked, and her response was "childish" and "unpredictably erratic"; producer Gale Anne Hurd brought in the Hulk editors to recut the film and make it "more presentable" for its release on December 5; if the production cannot "be salvaged" it could lead to a "limited [theater] release and a bigger DVD release". In the comments section, PWZ crew member Tom Book defended Lexi as a loyal inspiring "tough cookie" who had been essentially abandoned by producer Gale Anne Hurd during the brutal winter production in Montreal, and that "a bunch of us have seen her cut and are aware of the changes the studio wants to make and trust me, no Punisher fan would agree with those changes." Lexi's "Hooligans" co-writer Dougie Brimson responded to Tom Book that Lexi was "disloyal" and "devious", adding "trust me, I'm far from alone in thinking that way"!


4) July 29, 2008: UGO's Dr. Know http://movieblog.ugo.com/index.php/moviebl...war_zone_news1/ claimed they received a call from an LGF inside source ("Detective Soap") who said: trouble between LGF and Lexi started months ago when LGF sent her some publicity materials for her approval that she put up on her blog, and when they asked her to remove them she went "a little bananas" and claimed this was "unfair and stifling censorship"; Lexi is like "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"; Lexi really had been on her honeymoon during Comic-Con but though she knew the date plenty in advance had not bothered to change her plans; Lexi's raw footage was fantastic; Lexi was new to working with a large studio and may not have been prepared for the lesser control over the finished product; PWZ had not been completely taken out of her hands but she was still a consultant and involved in further decision-making. CHUD's Devin Faraci http://www.chud.com/articles/articles/1574...ONED/Page1.html called *beep* on UGO's source, saying that "it's news [in Hollywood] when someone is NICE to work with" and that UGO had painted her as "one step away from saying she had bad PMS".


5) July 30, 2008: IESB's Robert Sanchez http://www.iesb.net/index.php?option=com_c...3&Itemid=99 claimed their own Lionsgate insider said: Lexi's first cut which was shown to the studio was "unwatchable," "unreleasable", "one of the worst movies ever made", and "Dolph Lundgren's 1989 Punisher is a masterpiece compared to this outing". (My note: This from an Oscar-nominated director?? I don't think so. Sounds personal though!) On the same day, Lexi finally made a new post to her blog in which she sounded bitter about "the vicious cyber world" and mean people; she thanked people who were loyal to her, implying there were others who were NOT; she implied things had not gone smoothly in Hollywood and she'd moved on; and that she was excited about working on a new project with her former "Green Street Hooligans" producer Deborah del Prete.


6) August 1, 2008 (approx.): IMDB.com's PWZ running time was updated to a running time of 87 minutes, fueling fan fears that "Lexi's film was being butchered by Gale Anne Hurd". In addition, Lionsgate's "Midnight Meat Train", a hardcore bloody violent horror film based on a story by Clive Barker, premiered in about 100 dollar theaters instead of wide release as had been hoped for by horror fans, a decision apparently made by new LGF COO Joe Drake. Rumors swirled that Drake was "dumping" the films made by his predecessor out of spite; Punisher fans feared this fate might befall PWZ too. Also, somewhere along the way IMDB was updated to show that Charlie Clouser had succeeded Lexi's preferred composer Christopher Franke, then the composer was removed altogether. UpcomingFilmScores http://upcomingfilmscores.blogspot.com/200...r-war-zone.html then reported that the new composer was Michael Wandmacher. When his source was questioned, the author wrote: "It was confirmed by his agency, Evolution Music Partners. Contrary to all the rumors going around on the net, which are ALL false, no other composer has been attached to this project save for Lexi's original composer, Chris Franke. And the score is an orchestral/electronic hybrid. There's no "heavy metal" in it."


7) August 4, 2008: PWZ producer Gale Anne Hurd was alerted to some scathing posts about her on IMDB's PWZ message boards and was confused by the hostility. In a private email she said: PWZ will NOT have a hard rock score but an orchestral score as the film deserves, and Lionsgate had NOT posted the 87-minute running time to IMDB because that wasn't true. She even wondered if a rival studio were trying to give PWZ bad publicity by providing IMDB the bogus run time.


8) August 14, 2008: Latino Review's George Roush http://www.latinoreview.com/news/lionsgate...3-punisher-war- zone-5212 claimed a source "deep within the bowels of Hollywood and close to the Punisher: War Zone project" contacted him to say: "the big fight over the Punisher project is Lionsgate wants a PG-13 cut to be released", presumably with hopes of emulating the success of the PG-13 "The Dark Knight". FilmSchoolRejects' Robert Fure http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/puni...r-rated-way.php called bulls*** on Latino Review and tracked down their own source who is "close to the production" and whom he trusts completely, who said: PWZ will definitely be rated R.


9) August 16, 2008: PWZ cinematographer Steve Gainer posted on Tim Bradstreet / Thomas Jane's Raw Studios message board http://rawstudios.invisionzone.com/index.p...=55&st=2060 that: Lexi is not off the film, is still "steering the boat", is still involved in the edit process, did in fact get married; he saw a cut of PWZ that day that ran 91 minutes (my note: that's only 4 minutes longer than the rumored 87 minutes from IMDB but still a standard length for a feature film); PWZ will be rated R and will be released in theaters on December 5, 2008. Based on Steve's post, AICN and Latino Review published clarifications.



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The only person who HAS seen the actual shooting script AND publicly commented on it is Kurt Sutter. His verdict per his blog: while it was obviously not HIS vision, he graciously said it was "tight", "followed the perfect comic book formula", and he predicted "true fans of the Punisher comic books will enjoy this movie" and "it will open huge".


Sutter basically said "The movie is a piece of shit."


*Its funny that people STILL think Thomas Jane has no way of knowing the movie is shit.


Apparently those people have never considered the possibility of Jane getting his hands on the shooting script.




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Well, I honestly don't think Tom bothered to try to get his hands on a shooting script.

I've been as close to Tom on this as anybody and I think that the direction the film was going in is what Tom thought was shit.

Tom left because he knew he didn't want to be a part of that. That opinion was not really going to change with a re-boot.

Marcum & Holloway came in and retooled the script essentially turning a sequel into a self contained re-start.

And that re-start was studio controlled. There wasn't time to start from scratch which is why Santora's name is still attached. And it's pretty safe to assume that some of Sutter's stuff survived the facelift. Even given the time to start from the ground up I seriously doubt the vibe of what the studio was going for would have been altered.

And Tom would still likely believe that to be shit ;)

M&H made it work so that a new guy could come in as star, and sure, they cleaned it up some.

But it's still essentially a similar story, vibe, and direction as the material that necessitated Tom's departure.

That's what Tom is speaking to when he says it will be shit. And I'm sure he doesn't mean that as an attack on Alexander, Stevenson, or Marcum & Holloway.

Sutter also seemed to take offense to Tom not liking his script but that too was not personal. Tom's beef was with the direction of the film as a whole and Sutter's draft was simply a by-product of that studio directed vibe.


Everyone wants to take this statement at face value, as an insult. That is fair to a degree, but I suggest you also balance that statement with knowledge of the effort he went through to bring a seriously fucking badass film to the fans. He fought the good fight for his sake as well as ours. But stars don't control the studios. He couldn't convince them to switch gears so he left. He's disappointed, he feels he let a lot of people down with his decision to leave, but he couldn't in good conscience remain a part of something he didn't believe in. And he walked away from 2 Million +. So before people start condemning Tom I politely suggest they read between the lines a bit.


Love the '04 film or hate it, you have to understand that Tom wasn't satisfied with it. He wanted to up the ante, to springboard off the dark stuff towards the end and make a serious film. The studios wanted something they could sell to the shorter attention span crowd. I don't blame them for that. This is business and their business is to make money, not art, nor even an equal blending of the two. Too much risk.


The Warzone concept is really not so different from what Tom walked away from. You can believe that or you can debunk it, it really doesn't matter.

What happened after Tom left was perhaps the best thing that could have happened to this film. And I guess you can thank Tom for that ;)

Lexi Alexander was hired to direct - A very interesting filmmaker was brought in.

Ray Stevenson was cast - Thank God.

Marcum & Holloway signed on - Marvel's team supreme put their fingerprints on something that obviously needed a bit of help.

Lexi recruited some pretty damn good actors and actresses to join the team. No, not A list, but a good solid cast.


Unfortunately there is no accounting for what Lexi brought to this film where Tom is concerned.

His statement may be a blanket statement which you can easily take as pointing the finger at the creative team.

But believe me when I say that his comment is more pointed towards the studio's vision.


Bad form? Un-classy? Maybe so.

Put yourself in his shoes though and ask yourself how you would respond. With all the opinionated back-biters and finger-pointers speaking their minds anonymously on the internet it is my belief that remarks like the above (which I've heard repeatedly) can be considered fairly hypocritical.


I say relax. All of this pre-film frenzy soap opera can get almost as theatrical and melodramatic as a fucking movie.

And what may be shit to Tom may also be someone else's Holy Grail.


- tb

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