Punisher: War Zone Update

Published 7 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. Anyway, why all of the hate? What exactly is the purpose of trying to convince someone that a movie WILL be bad? Do you really think she, or anyone else, would change their mind? And even if they would, what purpose does it serve? Do you somehow benefit from the film doing badly? Do you own securities for it? LOL

    Having hopes for a film you’re excited for is a normal thing. It’s called anticipation. “Predicting” something you have not seen yet to be bad is just plain pointless and stupid if you ask me. If you don’t have expectations for the film, great, move on and comment on the films you ARE interested in. Get a life, seriously. You shouldn’t have so much time on your hands to go around insulting everything you don’t think will be good.

  2. What the hell are you even talking about? I’m not trying to convince people it’s going to be bad I simply explained that I think it will be bad. I don’t care what anyone thinks about it to be honest. Hell I hope i’m wrong and it turns out to be great. I thought Iron Man was gonna be worse than it was so it’s possible I could be wrong. I have seen you go on plenty of topics and talk negative about something so don’t act like your above. I made a comment on a topic someone commented on my comment and I simply replied. IT’s what you do. Not sure if you know this, but thats the entire purpose of the comment feature… To leave comments.

  3. OK, people, play nice. I really hate having to shut down comment threads. We all have particular films that we’re passionate about but let’s not get in each other’s faces about it.


  4. @Ken J

    Jane resembled the Steve Dillion take, alon with some older versions too.

  5. Well, actually Daniel, I usually talk negative about movies I HAVE seen, not “predicting” that a film would be bad. I also express concerns, like everyone else, over future projects, but I simply explain my concerns, and they are usually on things I am actually interested in. I don’t ever bash anyone for having an interest in it such as Mike have been doing to Nomad and myself.

    Which brings me to my next point. I was mainly referring to Mike, not really you. But the fact is, you’re convinced I’m talking about you from the description of the actions I gave alone. Notice I didn’t name any names. So basically you know you’re doing it too or else you would have known it wasn’t about you.

    But yes, the purpose is to leave comments, but that doesn’t mean those comments have to be condescendingly suggesting that someone who is showing interest in the film shouldn’t, or trying to predict that a movie will be a “turd” because you’ve read an early draft of the script. And even if it was the final draft, it’s something we like to call “opinions,” and we all have our own. :-)

    If Nomad says she’s seen a more recent draft of the script and she says it is better than the old one that was leaked, I say take that for what you will, but don’t try to change her mind about it. Just wait for the film to be released and see how it all turns out. Maybe it will be a surprise like I hope Terminator will be, T3 almost made me lose hope in all humanity, lol.

  6. Oops, must have hit a wrong button. I found the middle-school disagreement forums. My bad,. continue.

  7. I think the movie is probably going to be crap because of the direction the script was going and apparently stayed, and the choice of director.

    I’ve been a fan of the character for years, so it’s disappointing for me to see what they have decided to do with the movie.

  8. “So basically you know you’re doing it too or else you would have known it wasn’t about you.”

    That’s complete and total BS. I didn’t assume you were talking about me I assumed you were talking about anyone who said anything negative about your precious film. We have also had problems in the best so i was sure you were not excluding me from the whine fest.

  9. Also to add it’s my opinion, at no point did I say anyone was an idiot for looking forward to this film.

  10. LOL Daniel, so I’m the one “whining.” LMAO. All I did was ask why you guys waste so much time on an article for a movie you’re not even interested in? It’s a valid question. Obviously you’re here just to talk crap. Oooohhh, what a productive way to spend your precious time, lol.

    So I’m the one “whining” when you guys are the ones going to articles of movies you’re not interested in just to whine at everyone… oops, I mean, speak in a calm and logical manner… to everyone about how it’s dumb for them to be anticipating this movie, or how this movie will be a “turd,” or how anyone who says that there is a possibility of this movie being good is pathetic and sad, whine whine whine… oops again, I mean, intelligently pointing out facts facts facts, and so on…

    Do you know what I do when I see an article about a movie I’m not at all interested in? I SKIP IT and go to one that I am.

    I don’t know, I guess I’m just so weird that way…

  11. Mike, my comment was originally a response to your back and forth with Nomad, but reading back, you’ve more or less remained mature about it all. I understand your opinion on the film, and I actually understand your concerns. Just the fact that Lionsgate is making this already concerns me, lol.

    But I don’t see to what end your are hoping to reach with this. Obviously Nomad has been following this more closely than you have, and she claims to have seen more of the most recent script. Like I said, they COULD have done a major rewrite to the script that could have improved the film significantly. Not to mention, sometimes when you overcomplicate things, you end up with a big mess. Simple can be better. Ever heard of the KISS philosophy? Keep It Simple Stupid. :-D (not calling you stupid dude, that’s just what KISS supposedly stands for, I think, lol)

    Anyway, in real life, often times everything is reactive and one thing simply leads to another. A lot of these overly complicated movie plots have very little possibility of happening in the real world because rarely do events all coincide so perfectly like those movies have to rely on.

    Look at Terminator 2. Do you think that movie’s plot was complex? The character development, acting, and action sequences were complex and well done, but if you look at the core chain of events of the plot, everything was reactive, they did this, which led to that happening, which resulted in them doing something to get out of something else. Very linear, and even simple depending on who you ask. But can you say that the movie was dumb because the plot was simple? Of course not, and if you do, I’ll be mad because that’s my favorite film, lol.

    Anyway, all I’m saying is to keep an open mind. Like I’ve pointed out before, David Fincher’s first big budget blockbuster was a total stinker, Alien 3. Now imagine if you would have based whether or not you watched his next few films on the fact that he was the director, you would have missed Se7en, The Game, Fight Club, and Zodiac.

    Now, I haven’t seen any of Lexi Alexander’s stuff, so I’m not saying all her movies so far are definitely “stinkers” like Alien 3 was, but you sure think so, so I’m saying not to give up hope if you have any left. I’m going to try to ignore the fact that McG directed the Charlie’s Angels movies and go see Terminator: Salvation anyway, even after being traumatized by Terminator 3… And I’m going to watch PWZ despite it being a Lionsgate film to support Ray Stevenson where I can. I even watched his horror film Outpost, which was pretty dumb, but I know Stevenson’s potential. Even in that movie, he was not bad, the movie itself was just pretty bad. And he was awesome in Rome.

  12. I think Alien 3 is underrated actually. Fincher did the best he could, considering all the studio BS that went down on that movie.

    A dumb action movie is fine every now and then, that’s just not what I want out of a Punisher movie.

    There’s also the fact that she made a comment on her blog about how the Punisher can’t work as a realistic gritty crime drama. That’s what pretty much sealed the deal for me.

  13. Never once did i insult people for wanting to see it. i didnt call someone pathetic or say they were wrong. I Explaind how i felt that was it. i am a fan of the comic so i have followed the film close. I hate the argument that this is some how an unproductive way to spend my time. Giving an opinion on a film. A well informed opinion on a movie I have followed very cloely . How is this some how a less productive way to spend my time than goig on and commenting about how awesoe I think it will be? Either way your still on a website posting an opinion. The only thing that makes mine less productive is that you don’t agree with me. Also who ar you to judge whas prodcutive for me? The day is filled with 24 hours and it take me less than 5 mins to leave a comment on her. Thats five minutes I can easily spare. I leave maybe 7 or 8 comments a day thats 35 to 40 minutes a day out of 24 hours. Give me a break.

  14. Well mike, there’s really nothing “realistic” about someone being able to take on the mob, or any decent sized armed group of people, by himself. So even if they were to try to make it a serious gritty crime drama, realistic is automatically out of the question unless they are planning on giving him a team of people to help. But then it wouldn’t be The Punisher…

    Because even if he’s so much better trained than everyone else, there’s the issue that one man can only carry so much ammunition. Picking other peoples’ weapons can be an option, but you can’t count on how many rounds they had left when you killed them, or if they have been properly maintaining their weapons so you will be left open to the chance that you pick up a weapon and it will not fire, then you are screwed.

    Anyway, I agree with you, though, that they should try for some level of realism. But all I’m saying is that you seriously can’t make a “realistic” Punisher movie. Like the level of believability (not realism) that you find in other comic films such as Iron Man would be a good balance for a good Punisher movie.

  15. Oh, forgot to sum up, I do think making it a gritty crime drama would be nice, but not to the high brow level of The Dark Knight. It is a comic book movie and should have plenty of “fun” moments. Now I don’t mean fun as in jokes and gags, for The Punisher, fun equals huge crazy gunfights where Punisher goes up against insurmountable(sp?) odds and the end result is Enemies = 0, Punisher = 253. Kind of like the gunfights of Equalibrium. Completely unrealistic, but fun as heck to watch.

  16. Yeah, I guess realism was the wrong word use, I’d like something with a level of believability. Something with the feel of Taxi Driver. More mean, less cartoony. You don’t need to use blood and guts as a crutch, take the Spacker Dave torture scene from the 2004 film, it’s violent and sickening and you don’t see much of anything. I highly doubt this movie will have a scene as unsettling as that, the fake heads look to be on level of Troma films. But that is to say I wouldn’t mind seeing Frank beat a guy to death with the butt of his gun.

    Back to believability, the mansion massacre in the movie, oddly enough it’s actually more believable in the comic. There are some claymores set up, And Frank has an M60.

  17. Actually, claymores and the M60 would not really be believable in an indoor situation. Have you seen a real claymore set off? It’s not like they show in the movies. The movies tend to either over exaggerate it or make the explosion much too small. It is VERY loud, and the explosion is VERY large and quick (No fireball, that’s movie garbage). Set off a claymore indoors with you inside of it and you will probably be deaf at the very least and if you’re too close you can be killed by the concussion alone.

    And the M60 is far too large to maneuver in an indoors situation. Looking at that clip they released a while back, where the guy was hiding behind the door and shoots Castle in the back, if he had a M60, he probably wouldn’t have recovered from that fall to fire back at that guy in time. The M249 SAW is smaller, but I still think the M4 that he has is pretty perfect for indoors. MP5/Uzi or any other type of sub gun might be good, except if the enemy is wearing body armor.

    But yah, I totally agree with you if you meant believability. I would definitely love a believable Punisher movie. But I won’t give up hope on this one. Lionsgate = unbelievable, but hopefully Stevenson manages to entertain anyhow…

  18. Actually, I should have elaborated.

    In the comic Castle walks in briefly, shoots the old don in the head and walks out, then in the court yard of the mansion he has claymores set up and an M60 waiting, soon the goons rush out the door and as it is said in the comic, it’s World War III in South Jersey.

  19. Lol, that would be pretty good actually. Did he just walk out with the M60 and start shooting, or did he have a pre set up fortified position? That would be pretty smart.

  20. He had the M60 waiting outside. After he shot the don, his narration had him counting down;

    “Couple of seconds of shock.”
    “Couple of seconds to get pissed.”
    “A little bit longer to get everyone out the door.”
    “That’s all I’m going to need.”

    The goons start pouring out in the courtyard and he just starts mowing them down. That scene is infinitely better than what is going to be in the film. Jonathan Hensleigh had pretty much verbatim in his first draft, it dumbfounds me why they couldn’t at least keep that scene from his script.

  21. This is the entire quote from Lexi Alexander’s blog about reality that so disturbed Mike V.

    An excerpt from TRAILERMANIA (6/15/08)

    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 Det. 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.

    Real crime stories and comic books are two different worlds for me. It was my first priority to please The Punisher comic book fans and with all the respect to two wonderful actors, I wasn’t trying to become a member of the Dolph Lundgren or Thomas Jane fan club. This film is about the mythology of FRANK CASTLE, – Lexi Alexander

    Frankly, she was right on. Does anybody here think the comics are meant to be “real?” The entire POINT of the comics is fantasy to some extent, with varying degrees of “reality.” Is there anything “real” about a guy flying around in a batsuit and cape? I mean, come ON!

    It’s the EMOTIONAL reality that counts here, neh?


  22. Her arguments using The Shield and Narc as examples are frankly wrong. The Punisher is one of the few comic characters that can actually pull off the realistic and gritty setting. The fact that she just sees it as just a comic book, and felt no need to try and elevate the material is dumb.

    Just because it is based on a comic book doesn’t mean it can’t be so much more than that.

    I just flat out think she was the wrong person for the job.

  23. It’s funny Nomad that you make a comment about Batman because a realistic tone is exactly what Nolan brought to the franchise. In fact not only did he bring that but it’s what he is most praised for. If he can do it with Batman I think it speaks volumes on the talent of Lexi that she can’t do it with Punisher which I think is a lot easier to relate to the real world than Batman.

  24. You know Nomad, I’ve always had an open mind and high hopes for this movie, but if Lexi (or you, haha) didn’t have the intention from the beginning to even attempt a more believable approach, that isn’t really a good thing.

    The one-man-army idea has NEVER been realistic, nor will it ever be. But there are ways to try to base it in reality so it becomes less Commando and something you can actually believe can happen. For example, look at the original Die Hard.

    Realistically you can argue that one NY cop cannot possibly take on an entire group of highly trained and highly fortified terrorists by himself. And you would be right. But what John McTiernan did was make it so you see John McClane doing recon work in the beginning, trying to assess the size and locations of everyone, and try to take on the smallest groups first or wait for them to be split up so he can take them on individually. That makes an unrealistic idea believable. If he would have simply ran in with guns blazing and there are people on all sides of him, and somehow, nobody hits him but he hits everyone, like you see in so many 80′s Arnold or Chuck Norris movies, that is unrealistic AND unbelievable. Die Hard 2 was less well made and did have a lot of completely unbelievable parts on top of the already unrealistic premise.

    I hope Lexi didn’t mean that she doesn’t intend it to be believable at all.

  25. I didn’t take her to mean that at all. What I saw was an attempt to draw a line between crime drama like The Wire and the up-coming The Changeling, and films adapted from comic books. Punisher looks TO ME to be a lot more realistic than Batman (I don’t care WHAT you guys say about the realism of Batman, other than EMOTIONAL REALISM, there simply IS none. Batsuits, indeed!)

    So I take her comment to mean no more than that. I mean, really, guys. Jigsaw? C’mon. there is quite a bit of UNreality here.

    As far as the original source goes, the comics themselves, how many times, in REALITY, would Frank Castle met his maker if he did in the REAL world what he did in the comics?

    Lots of fooking times!

    That’s all. I don’t think she meant to imply anything more than that.

  26. I would have to agree and disagree with Daniel regarding Batman. I agree that Punisher is definitely a more realistic character than Batman because he doesn’t do any flying, there isn’t any fancy grappling devices, or anything like that. He simply uses his superior fire power and superior training to overcome his enemies.

    But I would have to disagree that Nolan made Batman realistic. More realistic than the previous movies? Definitely. But realistic in its own right? Not really. They are more gritty, mature, and dramatic but still pretty unrealistic. But he did try to make it much more believable than what you would expect from a movie about a guy dressed as a bat flying around town beating up bad guys.

    What irked me is that he was willing to let Ra’s Al Ghul die in the first film, but he wasn’t willing to let the Joker die in TDK when I think Joker definitely should have been KILLED, not just let die if he happen to fall off a building…

  27. The fact that a guy has an f-ed up face and is walking around, isn’t so unbelievable. I’ve seen quite a few photos of soldiers coming back from Iraq/Afghanistan whose faces were a lot worse than what Jigsaw looks like in the film.

  28. Actually you just agree with me Ken. I appologize for not being clear on what I meant. What I was saying was that Nolan is highly praised for taking the Batman character and grounding him in more realism than most thought possible. Of course it will always be a man putting on a Batsuit at the end of the day, but for the most part it’s a man that uses real world tech and a film that’s based heavy on psychology. I am simply saying he made a BATMAN film prety much as realistic as it can be. Sure when the film is over you think no way that would happen. While watching the films however you can almost.. almost find your self believing it could happen. Sort of.

    Punisher could be done even more realistic. I mean you praised Die Hard so now take out the cop and put in some one as highly trained as Frank Castle put him in that situation. It’s a hell of a lot more believable. So there is a guy named Jigsaw big deal it can easily be done realistically if they wanted to. Lots of criminals have scars all over them selves. Here is a guy with a severly scared face who gets the unfortunate name of Jigsaw. He doesn’t actually have to call him self that could just be a behind his back nick name.

  29. Criminy gang, can we relax a little about this? If we can have Rambo, John McClane, almost every character Arnold Schwarzenneger has played, etc., I’d think we can cut this movie a little slack in the “realism” department.