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The Punisher: WarZone


Tim Bradstreet
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Guest FADoss

Not to hijack the thread, but HBO has apparently garnered the rights to "Song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin. Should make "Rome" look like child's play.

 

Fred

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Yeah, but for everyone Rome or Deadwood, there's a Wire or Curb Your Enthusiasm. The Wire wasn't a big ratings hit and it lasted 5 seasons.

 

Though I still think Lions Gate really just wanted to get War Zone made and not made right.

Where is the logic to that last statement? Why wouldn't they want to make it right? They want as franchise every bit as much as WE do, if not MORE than we do! In order to GET a franchise, they have to make it right so we keep coming back for more, neh? Not to mention the fact that if this one doesn't get it right, financing for another attempt seems more than a little problematic. The rights for The Punisher is an ASSET of Lion's Gate. Of course they want it to maintain its value to them.

 

And given the fact that Frank Castle/The Punisher is a relatively minor god in the Marvel pantheon, I think they're showing a GREAT deal of faith in the character by going ahead with a third attempt to get it right.

 

I agree with you about your first statement, though. HBO DID stick with The Wire and CYE.

 

Nomad

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Where is the logic to that last statement? Why wouldn't they want to make it right? They want as franchise every bit as much as WE do, if not MORE than we do! In order to GET a franchise, they have to make it right so we keep coming back for more, neh? Not to mention the fact that if this one doesn't get it right, financing for another attempt seems more than a little problematic. The rights for The Punisher is an ASSET of Lion's Gate. Of course they want it to maintain its value to them.

 

Nomad

 

Well script, budget and only giving the film an about 40 day (night) shoot. Yeah, Jane held up the proceedings by wanting a better script and Walter Hill (I always bring this up, because not giving the job to Walter Hill was the dumbest thing they've done since the SAW franchise). I'm over Jane leaving, it's mostly the script, I just think despite the little rewrites that went down and some of the stuff Steve confirmed, I still don't think the script quite got there.

 

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Well script, budget and only giving the film an about 40 day (night) shoot. Yeah, Jane held up the proceedings by wanting a better script and Walter Hill (I always bring this up, because not giving the job to Walter Hill was the dumbest thing they've done since the SAW franchise). I'm over Jane leaving, it's mostly the script, I just think despite the little rewrites that went down and some of the stuff Steve confirmed, I still don't think the script quite got there.

I have more faith in the capitalist agenda than that. Lion's Gate did pretty well this last quarter. I have to think they'd like to keep that momentum going. I don't see any Max Bialystocks or Leo Blooms at LGF.

 

We'll see, soon enough, neh? Punishment begins in 138 days. ;)

 

Nomad

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Guest FADoss
Epic Movie and others of that ilk also made a good amount of money, doesn't take away the fact that they suck.

 

But it doesn't make it a STUPID decision in the film BUSINESS. Appeal the the masses et all. I mean, sometimes I wish I were and idiot. Movies would be so much BETTER!

 

Fred

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But it doesn't make it a STUPID decision in the film BUSINESS. Appeal the the masses et all. I mean, sometimes I wish I were and idiot. Movies would be so much BETTER!

 

Fred

 

Business is business, but the SAW movies are dumb. Which is what I was initially saying, not hiring Walter Hill was dumber than the SAW movies.

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Walter Hill would have been a great choice. But The Punisher had been twice attempted with less than resounding success, earning the third attempt a relatively small budget. Don't you think Walter Hill was a little out of the price range of this production?

 

So LGF went looking for younger, less expensive talent. We'll see soon enough how well they chose.

 

I can't comment on the Saw franchise, having never seen one. I need my on-screen killing to be of those who need killing, not killing just for the fun of it.

 

Nomad

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Walter Hill would have been a great choice. But The Punisher had been twice attempted with less than resounding success, earning the third attempt a relatively small budget. Don't you think Walter Hill was a little out of the price range of this production?

 

So LGF went looking for younger, less expensive talent. We'll see soon enough how well they chose.

 

Nomad

 

Not really no, Hill isn't getting the work he should be getting, looking at his IMDb the last two things he directed were an episode of Deadwood in 2004 and the Broken Trail miniseries in 2006. Hell I think he was even willing to sit down and do some rewrties to the script with Jane, but for what ever reason they said no.

 

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He's not doing so badly.

 

DGA noms to 5 cable film directors

10 January 2007 (The Hollywood Reporter)

Directors of five cable movies nabbed the DGA's telefilm nominations Wednesday.

 

Those included Charles S. Dutton, for Sleeper Cell: American Terror, Home, which aired on Showtime; Randa Haines, for The Ron Clark Story, TNT; Walter Hill, for Broken Trail, AMC; Peter Markle, Flight 93, A&E; and Edward James Olmos, Walkout, HBO.

And he has two films in development:

 

Projects In Development (2 titles)

 

The Warriors - Writer (1979 screenplay) 2010

Heaven's Rim - Director (attached)

 

The Warriors looks a bit odd...there are half a dozen writers listed, about half of them from a 1979 attempt? :blink: So maybe Hill isn't working on this one, but still has credit because the current script is based on his work? Dunno.

 

Nomad

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Well, I'm just leaving to go see Wanted. It's not really Wanted I was interested in, but the Punisher: War Zone teaser that's attached.

 

I am SOOO hot to see that on the big screen. Smokin' hot!

 

Nomad

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Well, BUGGER!!! The Punisher: War Zone teaser was attached to Wanted in a theatre about 20 miles from my house, but NOT at the Arclight in Sherman Oaks where *I* went! Boo!

 

What's the deal with trailers/teasers? Are they changed every couple of weeks? Or are they simply not the same from one market to another? I can see that attached trailers/teasers would vary from one part of the country to another, but within the Southern California market they need to be different?

 

I am WHINING about this...seriously WHINING! *slaps self as my father would have done*

 

Well, all was not lost. Wanted was exciting. I never read the graphic novel from which it was adapted so I don't have any of the complaints the loyal readers may have. Maybe that's the best way to see these sorts of films...with few pre-conceived notions about how they SHOULD be.

 

I was thinking on the way home about this issue of fidelity to the source material. It seems a very delicate line to walk, fidelity not being so valuable if it doesn't serve to move the story forward, enhance the characters or create a mood. In Steve Gainer's Mysterious Skin, for example, there is this bright NORMALCY, in both color and lighting, that accentuated by contrast the shocking ABNORMALITY and darkness, the blurred terror in the hearts and minds of the characters. I don't know how or whether the look of Gainer's film was a departure from the source material, but John Le Carre certainly didn't write The Constant Gardner in acid-washed colors. Yet it was an effective cinematic choice. That "acid washed" look created such a sense of anxiety in the viewer. That was a cinematic interpretation of the WORDS Le Carre chose to create that same sense of anxiety, of unreality, danger, and inevitable doom; an acid washed world in which VERY bad things happen and from which there was no escape.

 

What feels exciting to me so far about Punisher: War Zone is that the artistic choices seem to have been carefully made with just this sort of thing in mind; to illuminate the darkness of Frank Castle's mind and world, to create a sense of fear and danger we don't like consciously to acknowledge we live with. I know I feel that sense of fear and danger when I walk in parking garages or down urban streets awash in the acid yellow of "security" lights. I ignore those feelings and go on my way, but they're there.

 

In the article I posted above, the point was made that a comic book was a story board, ready-made for timid studio execs who wanted to know early on what they were buying. That may be a double-edged sword. Fans actually KNOW how the source material looked, rather than imagining it as they would do with a regular novel, and it means people's expectations are very specific.

 

Anyway, can you tell I'm excited to see it? Punishment begins in 137 days!

 

DAMN, I wanted to see that teaser on the big screen! :(

 

Nomad

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Yeah, Wanted was kind of silly, I agree, but like you said, not a bad way to turn your brain off for a couple of hours if you need it, and lets face it, we all need to do that from time to time. :)

 

Maybe it's just me.

 

I will repeat myself and say that I liked the WARZONE teaser on the big screen much more than I did on the computer. So for me, that was a bonus, and really THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. There is always a part of me that gets sad when I see a trailer on the computer first.

 

The Warriors is a fine piece of cinema, but it's dated in a really interesting way. Not so much the look of the film as the stylistic nature of it. It's very much a fantasy film based in a certain era. One of my favorites though. Tony Scott is directing the new one, and I have to admit I will see anything either of the Scott brothers directs. Even the crap films (Body of Lies for instance looks bad, but I'll see it) I'll stand in line for.

 

What am I doing up at 2am?

 

 

 

 

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I haven't read this interview for a while; Ray Stevenson's take on the Frank Castle character. It's interesting reading.

 

Exclusive: Frank Castle Speaks

IGN talks to actor Ray Stevenson about playing The Punisher in Warzone.

by IGN Staff

 

February 27, 2008 - IGN recently spoke with Ray Stevenson... No, not the country singer that sang all those crazy songs in the '80s... that's Ray Stevens! This is Ray Stevenson, the guy who plays comic book anti-hero The Punisher/Frank Castle in the new movie.

 

We asked Ray about his experience working on Punisher: War Zone, at which point he dropped to the floor and did 50 push-ups while holding a semi-automatic rifle up to our head. We promised never to make fun of his name again. This is the conversation that followed...

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

IGN: You're about to embark on what I'm sure many people hope will be the first of several great Punisher films. What was it like tackling the character?

 

RAY STEVENSON: It was fantastic. It was beyond any of my expectations. I didn't watch the Thomas Jane film beforehand. We were taking a completely new slant. We weren't doing numbers. It's not Punisher 3; it's Punisher: War Zone. We're going exclusively for the MAX series with Garth Ennis writing and Tim Bradstreet doing the cover illustrations. That was the look – the New York, night-time predator, with all the incredible, dark psyche that goes along with him. Certainly not a superhero, but an anti-hero.

 

IGN: And again – a strong character with legitimate depth.

 

STEVENSON: This guy is really on a trajectory. Things have happened in his life; he's a vigilante. Some people are beyond redemption and it doesn't matter how many criminal dollars you have to buy the very best criminal lawyers – if you're beyond redemption, that's it. One of the lines from Garth: "If you work for the devil, you better be prepared to die for him." When you really get behind and underneath that, it's a very dark place to be. It's a very human feeling, but to actually systematically go about it as a mission – as a job of work – you know that you're damned. Every choice you make only damns you deeper. There's no light at the end of your tunnel, but you're doing it so that other people can live in that light.

 

IGN: Would you be ready to don the trench-coat and t-shirt again?

 

STEVENSON: Hopefully, we'll get a franchise. I'd be delighted to play Frank again. We've opened him with this one; we've opened up wounds. It was a very interesting journey as an actor because it really does raise some quite severe moral and social issues. The state can still kill people, but we can't license individuals to kill people. We've advanced, as it were. Yet if somebody harmed my son, I would absolutely stop their seed. I don't think I'd be big enough, or magnanimous enough, to allow due process. And if they got off, how would I feel then? But where is the advancement if we constantly revert back to eye-for-an-eye, to the ancient law of retribution? Are you happy that he's out there, knowing full well that you'll never be a target? But what if you transgress? Where does he draw his line? And if we entertain, and at the same time hold up a mirror, then we're in…

 

IGN: Jigsaw is obviously the villain with this film, but what other Punisher villains would you like to go up against?

 

STEVENSON: There's obviously Barracuda. He's indestructible. It's that old paradox – the unstoppable force meets the immovable object. But I think that the most interesting thing for me is that Frank is constantly coming up against Frank. He's always his own greatest adversary. Hopefully, it doesn't sound too patsy. It's not meant to be diversionary. Jigsaw has been an amazing adversary, but in the long scheme of things, Frank still has a core of what it really means to be human. It's just a question of what constitutes a soul – of what is good and what is bad – and so his greatest adversary of all time with always be himself.

 

IGN: So what's next?

 

STEVENSON: I'm just about to go up to New Orleans to start a movie called Cirque du Freak with Selma Hayek, John C. Riley and Ken Wantanabe. I'm playing the lead vampire – the lead bad-guy…This will be great fun. Here I get a chance to play a bourgeoning Stalin or Hitler. It should be such a romp. It's creature, it's carnival, it's traveling street show. It should be a hell of a ride!

 

Nomad

 

 

 

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Great interview, Nomad.

That, and even more so other interviews he's done, suggests that he get's the charather and what drives him perfectly. That's one of the reasons why those of us who support Ray embraced him so quickly.

 

Well script, budget and only giving the film an about 40 day (night) shoot. Yeah, Jane held up the proceedings by wanting a better script and Walter Hill (I always bring this up, because not giving the job to Walter Hill was the dumbest thing they've done since the SAW franchise). I'm over Jane leaving, it's mostly the script, I just think despite the little rewrites that went down and some of the stuff Steve confirmed, I still don't think the script quite got there.

Where do you get that 40 day shooting schedule from? Might want to chalk it up in the misinformation category right next to the 'budget cut in half' rumour.

 

"Punisher: War Zone" actually had a longer shooting schedule than the previous movie, the prinicipal shoot was from October 22 till December 14. After that, there were some additional days of shooting in January, in Vancouver I believe.

 

None of us can really say anything with certainty about the current state of the script, as none here (at least those of us not involved in production) have seen the final shooting draft. But I am honestly not too concerned about this. I doubt very much it will be groundbreaking and win the movie any Oscar's to put it that way, but I'm pretty sure it will do the Punisher justice in a way neither of the previous filmed Punisher scripts did. Even the unfinished Lexi Alexander draft, which we know has been rewritten by the Iron Man guys since, outshines the scripts of both the 2004 and 1989 movies combined as is, and has the potential in it to be a real Punisher movie, faithful to the source material for once.

 

Everyone has their idea of what the perfect Punisher story and Punisher movie is, so there is no way everyone will be satisfied no matter what. Hopefully, this movie will satisfy most fans though, even those wanting Walter Hill. By the way, what makes him so perfect? I'm not saying that he isn't mind you, I just wonder.

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We shot 3 days and 38 nights in Montreal Canada, and Vancouver due to the heavy snow in Montreal.

 

Steve Gainer, ASC

 

OK 41 days, the last movie had about 50 days not including re-shoots/pick up shots.

 

As for the script just by the teaser, I was able to tell that not much has been changed. Right down to the dumb sub-plot involving the Bulats.

 

And about 3 other people wrote the Iron Man script, not including whatever improvisations that Faverau and Downey Jr. brought to it. All I can hope that Marcum and Holloway know Hannibal Lector is a fictional character. Just because it's not going to win an Oscar doesn't mean the dialouge should be cheesy or cliched. Castle seemed kinda out of character throughout the script, like I mentioned before in this thread he tells a person "don't die on me kid." And after what was done to him, Castle would know that he can't do anything for the guy. Castle also had a little too much emotion, he's been doing his thing for a couple of years, so he should be pretty emotionally shut off, not seeming on the verge of tears*.

 

But I will say the Micro stuff was pretty good, I was surprised to like it.

 

And the '04 movie script was better, it's too bad the budget forced a bunch of good scenes to be combined, pared sown or just flat out cut. And Marvel and the studio wanting the flaming skull at the end.

 

As for Walter Hill he's just a really good director, with plenty of experience and he just doesn't get enough directing gigs, it would have been cool to see him do a Punisher movie. Also, I wasn't a fan of Hooligans at all.

 

*Before you mention Jane in the '04 movie, his portrayal of a depressed alcoholic Castle is straight out of Year One.

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*Before you mention Jane in the '04 movie, his portrayal of a depressed alcoholic Castle is straight out of Year One.

Wouldn't dream of it. In fact, I wish the whole movie had been more like Year One.

Whenever I speak of Jane in context of The Punisher, it is to say that he did a fantastic job, no one could have lifted the movie any more than he did. I have nothing but the highest respect for Jane's portrayal of and commitment to the charather.

 

There were many things wrong with the '04 movie, but Jane was certainly not among them.

The script on the other hand was, at least in my opinion. Had the movie been filmed exactly as it was written, it would have made for a far better movie, I don't think anyone will contest that. But it would still be Jonathan Hensleigh's homage and tribute to the cinema of the seventies fit into the Punisher mold rather than a more accurate adaptation of the source material, and therein lies my problem with it.

 

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I really don't expect Frank to be quite as cold as he is in the MAX comics, at least not yet. I think in the movie he has only been the punisher for a few years, but in MAX he has been doing it for over thirty years, right? Ray is only 40 something as well. I still think he will be cold enough though. At least I hope:D

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I really don't expect Frank to be quite as cold as he is in the MAX comics, at least not yet. I think in the movie he has only been the punisher for a few years, but in MAX he has been doing it for over thirty years, right? Ray is only 40 something as well. I still think he will be cold enough though. At least I hope:D

I'm more worried about him being so cold, he'll come off totally one-dimensional.

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What feels exciting to me so far about Punisher: War Zone is that the artistic choices seem to have been carefully made with just this sort of thing in mind; to illuminate the darkness of Frank Castle's mind and world, to create a sense of fear and danger we don't like consciously to acknowledge we live with. I know I feel that sense of fear and danger when I walk in parking garages or down urban streets awash in the acid yellow of "security" lights. I ignore those feelings and go on my way, but they're there.

 

Is this your way of rationalizing the use of the yellow lighting in the film that so many folks have complained about?

 

-skye

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I'm more worried about him being so cold, he'll come off totally one-dimensional.

 

 

I'm know what you mean, but I think he will be handled well. I can't say with 100% certainty, but I've seen some stuff from Rome featuring Ray, and he has very good eyes. He portrays a lot just with his eyes alone, so even if he is completely cold, I think he will show some humanity. I thought he was completely cold in MAX, but long cold dark actually showed some of his humanity, like when he took some time just to be with the baby girl.

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