Punisher: War Zone Update

Published 6 years ago by , Updated September 12th, 2013 at 9:23 pm,

Director Lexi Alexander has updated her blog with a new post talking about the military background of Frank Castle (played by Ray Stevenson). She highlights an interview with the production’s military adviser, real life hero Sergeant Jonathan Barton.

We’ve got few excerpts from the interview below, but you can head over to her site for the whole thing.

In her interview, Lexi talked about what she wanted Castle’s background to be in the film:

“We wanted to be very close to Frank Castle’s original biography, so I asked you [JB] to make him look like he spent some time in every branch of the Military before he became a renown Force Recon/Special Ops instructor.”

When Barton was asked what it was like to work on Punisher: War Zone

“Working on the new Punisher, from a Marine’s POV, was a dream come true! The Punisher, as a character, has a huge Marine Corps following. He represents the harder side of the Marine Corps. In Iraq my squad and I would spray paint the SKULL on ¬†anything we could find!”

Again, based on the production, it seems like this should be a good movie – but that doesn’t always turn out to be the case in the final product. I’d love for this thing to turn out great and leave all its troubles behind, but we won’t know until Punisher: War Zone opens on December 5th.

For the full interview, head on over to LexiAlexandar.com.

Thanks to Screen Rant reader Kevin for alerting us to the news!

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  1. LOL, look at Ray Stevenson, he looks like such a goof ball.

  2. Yes! Thank you, Kevin! That was an amazing article. It was fantastic to read in such detail about the military training and to hear that Ray became so accomplished. It just makes this film even more highly anticipated.

  3. Ken J, he looks like the Punisher to me!

  4. Hey, you don’t sound like a goofball to me, Sugar! ;)

  5. Nomad is a PWZ junkie. No PWZ article goes unnoticed. Further proof she’s actually Lexi in disguise… :-P

    Ray Stevenson will make the character rock.

  6. I’m actually that their are people who think this is gonna turn out good. I hope I’m wrong but from what I’ve seen and read about and given who is involved this only looks to be a step or two ahead of The Spirit. Just barely.

  7. Got any stock market advice Daniel? :-)

  8. Come on guys. Think about it. This is the third reincarnation of the character. I’m sure they are doing everything possible to make sure the story stays true to the comics. Wether or not this will translate into large box office numbers doesn’t matter. There are several films that don’t do well on the big screen, but later they become cult classics and DVD sales make up for the release sales. As long as they stay true to the character of Frank Castle, this film will be a success in my eyes.

  9. My college buddy, an art major) was in the Iraq/Kuwait war and he painted a punisher skull on the tank he commanded. It was incredible.

  10. Oooh, INK! Got any pics of that?

    “Ray Stevenson will make the character rock.”

    Hey, Ken J, are you Ray? ;)


  11. @ Ken J

    Nomad is not Lexi, lol.

    She’s just a HUGE Ray Stevenson fan/groupie.

    Thanks for putting this up Vic!

  12. ^^ Wherever did you get THAT idea??? ;)

  13. I’ve seen pics of you harassing him at Comic-Con San Diego, lol.

    Further proof that you’re not Lexi Alexander.

  14. You have NOT seen pics of me harassing him at Comic-Con, coz I was VERY careful 1) not to be photographed and 2) not to harass the poor man. Although I DID harass him enough to get his picture holding a sign with YOUR name on it, Rampage. So be grateful, eh? ;)

  15. Okay, srry.

    If anyone can find a blog containing the word “sugar,” then that settles it, Nomad is Lexi.

  16. @Nomad,

    Wish I did. He was a good friend in college but after that I haven’t spoken to him. Time passes by I suppose. I will try google though. He may have it up somewhere.

  17. LOL Nomad, good come back. I am pretty skilled with firearms, but I’m far too short to play Punisher… or Titus Pullo for that matter… :-D

  18. This interview still doesn’t give me any more confidence in the movie then I had before.

  19. What, that they are getting real military advice on a character that was supposed to have been in the military? I guess they could have just gone the route most other action movies take and just have them handle weapons and movement in a completely unbelievable way assuming that most of the audience is too oblivious to these things to realize just how ridiculous they look. And you know what? They CAN do this and get away with it because most movies and tv shows do and people don’t notice… well, nobody except the people who actually know how to handle weapons or people who have proper training in technique.

    Those of us have suffered through so many action movies where the main protagonist is supposed to be some veteran bad-ass who has won every medal the military has to give and worked in every military, law enforcement, and federal agent position known to man, yet he can’t even hold his firearms correctly and doesn’t have a grasp at even the fundamentals.

    Take this example: Ask a normal group of people if Tom Cruise from Collateral and Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible II (2, NOT 3, huge difference) would meet in an alley and they want each other dead, who would win. Most people would say without a doubt his character from MI2. Reality is, his Collateral character would mop the floor with his MI2 character because Cruise was actually properly trained for that role while he was not at all trained for MI2. John Woo teaches stylish fancy crap that doesn’t work in the real world. Whoever trained Cruise for Collateral is a pro and it is obvious.

    Most of the time I enjoy films more when I can be “pulled” into the film, think it’s actually happening, and things like that just really kill the mood for me.

    So I don’t know, can they score big on this and then score low on everything else? Sure, of course, just because a movie features good firearm handling doesn’t mean it’ll have a good story and script, but when they do go the extra mile to get details like this correct when they could make the big bucks without it, do kind of suggest that at least some effort is being put forth in doing it right…

    I don’t think it “proves” anything, but it is definitely a good sign.

  20. That’s one of the biggest posts I’ve ever seen from you Ken odd that it would but on something like that.

  21. Lots of mediocre movies do a good job with weapons traning .
    Its the STORY that matters.

  22. @Ken J

    One of my favorite “annoying” things about guns in movies is how when the hero(es) come upon a possibly dangerous situation, they suddenly cock their guns.

    I would think that anyone in that line of work would already have a bullet chambered. No doubt it’s done for the “cool factor.”


  23. @ Vic,

    Exactly! It’s especially hysterical when guys are stalking each other, supposedly silently, but no one is supposed to hear that a round was just chambered? That always makes me snigger and really spoils whatever tension the scene might have built.

    And @ Gary, this is another of my pet peeves with “action” films: that they think action film fans are too shallow to require a good story and just through a lot of shooting and violence at us and think we won’t notice the lack of plot and character development. I would argue that for action films, those elements are MORE important, not less.

    @ Ken, I think Collateral was the best film Tom Cruise ever made.

  24. @ Gary

    Um, sorry to sound rude, but I think I did mention that…

    @ Vic

    Yes, I agree with you there. Not to mention sometimes you see them cock the same weapon more than once without firing it! I wonder if they realize that if they had a round chambered, cocking the slide or working the bolt handle or whatever would actually make them lose that chambered round… And another thing I hate is that EVERY TIME they unholster the weapon it makes that cocking noise… Or when the weapon “clicks” when it’s empty, even though in most weapons the slide or bolt locks back on the last round, so it’s impossible for the hammer to drop to make that “click” noise. Revolvers are the obvious exception. Even worse is when it clicks more than once when it’s empty, like every time they press the trigger the hammer falls without it being recocked, lol.

    @ Nomad

    Another Tom Cruise movie he made after Collateral shows he retained his firearms training, and that was Mission: Impossible III. His weapons handling in that film is impeccable. Which is weird if you watch the three films together. In 1 and 2, he’s pretty mediocre, then in 3 it’s like all of a sudden he’s a pro, lol.

  25. @ Gary

    Oh, and to add to the last post, which looks like was eaten up by the SPAM filter, I know that good gun play does not equal a good movie, but my point is that even if a film has a good script and acting, if it’s an action film with a lot of action scenes and they don’t pay attention to the gunplay, that ALSO ruins the film for me. I would like it to have BOTH a good script and good acting AND well made action scenes.

    My point about this film is that most mediocre movies don’t pay attention to details like accurate gun handling. The fact that they took the time to get this detail right COULD (I said could, not guarantee) indicate that they’ve put in the effort everywhere else as well. Like I said, it doesn’t PROVE that it will be good, but it is definitely a good sign.

  26. To be honest I have been working with guns since I was 9 years old and have lots of training. Not to mention my military experience. I gotta say that I don’t find proper use all that important in films. If it’s a good script with good acting I’m not really looking to see how he holds the gun.

  27. @Ken J

    What’s funny though is you would have thought the military consultant would have said, that hanging upside down from a chandelier and spinning is retarded and would leave you pretty much open.

  28. And so is going into a building full of armed enemies by yourself. My point isn’t that the movie is “realistic,” but it’s that the character appears to be “at home” holding a weapon and not that he just held it for the first time for the sake of the film.

    I don’t see how the point is so complicated. I guess let me put it another way. I’m not saying to neglect the story and script, I’m saying that it has to be the complete package to be good, which INCLUDES the firearms and gunplay since that’s the point of the character.

    Let’s pretend it was a movie about a butcher. What good would a good script be if every time they show the protagonist, which is supposed to have been a butcher all his life, if he hesitates when he’s cutting meat, or can’t even swing a cleaver straight. Or a movie about a banker who can’t operate an “adding machine” correctly or smoothly. Or a movie about a professional poker player who can’t shuffle a deck of cards correctly. Or a movie about a construction worker who can barely hold down a jack hammer or operate a riveter. Shall I go on?

    The point of the military advisor is obviously not for the writing of the script. Specific character actions like going into the middle of a gang’s hide out alone, or hanging from the chandelier are obviously dictated by the script and other aspects that are inspired by the comics. If they would have taken the advice of a military advisor on those things, he would have several snipers pulling overwatch while Castle and several teams of people would go into the building from several entry points at the same time and would handle the situation that way. Or if the risk is too great, stand back and knock down the entire building with charges or just blast holes in it with a M1 Abrams tank or bombard it with artillery or mortar rounds.

    But then it wouldn’t be a Punisher movie…

    The whole point to his character is that he goes in there and does completely crazy things by himself to kill as many people as he can. I don’t like the whole chandelier thing either, but hey, if Boondock Saints can pull it off, why not a movie about a guy that takes on hundreds of people at a time with body armor that has a skull painted on it… At least he’ll appear like he’s prepared for it by knowing how to use the weapons to such ends.

  29. Boondock Saints was crap though.

    The movie to me just seems like it’s going to be cliched action film #11,002,033, and being a fan of the character it’s disappointing. I don’t care if he’s done crazy crap in the comics before, or that the lighting is based off of some bad coloring. It’s just disappointing.

    It doesn’t help that I think they hired the wrong director so…