Will The Punisher Be PG-13?

Published 7 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:01 am,

thepunisher1 Will The Punisher Be PG 13?There has been a tremendous amount of bad press surrounding The Punisher War Zone over the past several weeks.

Stories have been flying about stating that the director Lexi Alexander was fired from the production and that the film was being re-cut and laced with a Heavy Metal soundtrack.

Now the reliable Latino Review has a source stating that the film is going to be cut so that it is suitable for a PG-13 audience..

So what the heck is going on with The Punisher? Will the film be any good?

My belief is that the film will turn out to be pretty average. I enjoyed the last Punisher film, but I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the comic book. This new version appears to be a film made by a committee, which is quite strange considering the low budget and pulp leanings of the character’s origin.

The Punisher isn’t a character who will sell Happy Meals – he’s a gritty vigilante who uses murder as an act of revenge. Due to this I don’t think that he’s suited to a PG-13 rating, although some would argue that Batman isn’t either – but at least he doesn’t kill!

I just don’t think that The Punisher as a character has enough going on to warrant a film (or series of films). I believe that Lionsgate feels that they need to make the film, having bought the rights to the comic book without fully understanding what they wanted to do with them. This film has had a long and painful gestation process with Thomas Jane dropping out (to be replaced by Ray Stevenson); issues with finding a director; and then the original script being rewritten. Now it would appear that the film’s post production is equally traumatic.

Following the release of the Red Band trailer it seemed like fans of the character were about to get the big screen version of their favorite character that they always wanted. Now it would seem like they’ll have to wait for the unrated DVD to be released. Maybe this has been Lionsgate’s plan all along: Release the film as PG-13, make back its modest budget (like the previous film) and then make a killing with multiple DVD versions. It wouldn’t be the first time that something like this has happened.

I’m sure that we will discover the truth soon enough, but I would hate to feel that the studio is trying to rip-off true fans of the character. If I was a fan of The Punisher (and I’m not) I would like to see my favorite hero on the big screen without knowing that he was neutered so that that the studio could squeeze another few bucks out of me with a DVD double dip.

More news as we get it on this one.

Some version of The Punisher War Zone will be released on December 5, 2008

Source: Latino Review

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  1. I liked the last Punisher film and I am hoping that the new film is as good or better than the former. However, from what has been going on with the film, I think it’s going to stink. The last Punisher film I felt captured what the Punisher was all about. Origins and final revenge for his family’s death. Any film after that is going to be tough to sell.

  2. If they cut this to be a PG-13 film, I definetely won’t bother. Especially after seeing the brutal redband trailer. It’s the Punisher dammit! It’s supposed to be violent as hell!

  3. I’ve been really looking forward to this one. Am really curious on to how Stevenson pulls it off, however my interest is starting to slip a little with all the latest news.

    PG-13? for the Punisher? huuh? That’s like making a childrens version of a Hannibal Lecter story.

    Pretty obvious this was started with the understanding that this was a marvel ‘superhero’ franchise with no real knowledge of the character.

    Frank Castle is no superhero! This really should be a no holds barred R rated old school Tarantino type bloodbath. Anything else in neutering the character as far as I’m concerned.

  4. If this film is not rated R, then I’m not seeing it in theatre and not paying for the DVD. I guess it can’t be a good strategy for them to do that then, because I think there’s alot of people who feel the same.

    All we want is the propper punisher film, it’s been filmed. Let us watch it with some good music. That’s all I want…pleaseeeee

  5. ohhh, the msting possibilities

  6. That story never rang true to me. I believe THIS guy:

    There is a rumor that has started circulating around this little thing called “the internet” that Lionsgate is pushing for the next installment of The Punisher to be rated PG-13. Given all we know of the franchise, this immediately smelled foul. Not being without charms and fully utilizing our ruggedly handsome looks, we tracked down our own source who is, of course, “close to the production.” Their word? *beep*

    We could add some words in front of that, like “complete,” “total,” or “utter,” but it throws off the feng-shui of the post, but they would be appropriate. It looks like this originated over at Latino Review, who indicate that they have their own source. Now, I love those Latino Review guys, but I have no idea who they’re talking to. I do, however, definitely know our source and know that I trust them completely. Punisher: War Zone will be Rated R for Rambo-Levels of violence. Which is a good thing, because the kill count of Rambo (another Lionsgate release) was 236 and featured some of the best gore violence in years.

    Now, while being Rated-R, the film is still facing a troubled production run, detailed by our Neil Miller at the end of last month. Who knows what else is going on in making the film “presentable,” though it probably has to do mostly with timing. While our source is more than enough for me, for you kids keeping count at home there are a few other things to keep in mind. First, former Marvel Entertainment CEO Avi Arad (and current Marvel producing partner) Avi Arad has always said that The Punisher was one character who would carry the R-Rating at Marvel (the other being Blade). Second, producer Gale Anne Hurd spoke at great length at Comic Con about the film and stressed the level of violence that would be in the film. Lastly, the exclusive footage shown at Comic Con, which was very well received, was definitely from a film that was Rated R, and it was the point they were selling – brutal.

    In summation, this PG-13 rumor is total *beep* Punisher: War Zone is still not a ship sailing smoothly, but it will come to theaters with that Rated R stamp all over it on December 5. And just in case you need more evidence of the R-Ratedness, have a look at the clip below, which was launched a few weeks back at Comic-Con.

    http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/punisher-still-to-punish-in-r-ra ted-way.php

  7. Hey Nomad, nice to have you here at Screen Rant. Perhaps you should drop a line to Latino Review and see what they have to say about it.

    Note there IS a question mark in the title of this post, and we’re reporting it is not solid info.



  8. please not PG-13.
    the PUNISHER deserves a _R_ .
    we need death,destruction,Gore & mayhem.
    it’s the PUNISHER for god-sake.

  9. I find it difficult to believe that the studio is dumb enough to try to shove what should obviously be an R-rated film into a PG-13 container.

    Unless they so desperately think it’s terrible that they’re grasping at any straw to try to salvage it.


  10. I hope this rumour is just a clever way of generating buzz and getting comic fans behind the film

  11. Sounds like they want to re-tool this for the Christmas season crowd(as well as a larger mainstream audience),for I’ll just wisely wait till the Uncut,Unrated DVD version comes out in the Spring(’09).

  12. I DID drop a note to Latino Review. They recanted just a bit. At least they manned up to the possibility their info was in error. Here’s a post fro somebody else you may find interesting.

    I found this post over on the RAW Entertainment message board. Oh was I THRILLED to see it. It’s from Steve Gainer, cinematographer for Punisher: War Zone for those of you who don’t know. I know for a fact this post is legit.

    Steve, this is the post that people from Lion’s Gate SHOULD have made but didn’t. THANK YOU, Steve. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!


    Holy smokes, I go away and shoot some kids stuff for Disney, and the whole world is a different color when I return. Again I appear here to dispel rumors. Please believe:

    Lexi is not off the film

    Lexi is still involved in the edit process

    The film is not (nor could it ever be) PG-13

    Today I saw a cut that ran 91 minutes

    Lexi did in fact get married

    Lexi is an incredibly talented director, and this film kicks major ass, as will be proven when it is released IN THEATRES DECEMBER 5th

    The film is most certainly not all exploding heads, but will reveal a great deal of Franks personna and pain

    This film has been difficult from the begining, from a bitter Canadian winter, to endless nights, to rampant sickness, Lexi has fought to make a killer Punisher film for fans and non fans alike.

    Initially we were to release in September, but for whatever reason (not the quality of the film or edit IMHO) it was decided to release in December. That extra time has given everyone a chance to put their two cents worth in, but rest assured, Lexi is still stearing the boat, and she is a great captain.

    When I hear vicious unfounded troll rumors like the “film was unwatchable” or “a total mess” it makes my blood boil. I want to punish the corrupt. People sit on their fat asses trolling the internet, people that have never even looked through a motion picture camera, and make judgements on a work of art that they’ve never seen, it’s like saying a baby will be ugly before it is born, I can’t freaking wait for this film to come out and prove the nay-sayers wrong.

    Sorry for the rant, I just love something wonderful you have yet to see-


    http://rawstudios.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=55&st=2060& amp; amp;gopid=12162&#entry12162 (Post #2062)

  13. Thanks to Nomad, there’s a new post up regarding the PG-13 vs R-rating mess here: