Deadline Hollywood has broken the news that Fox TV has ordered a pilot adapting the Marvel Comics character The Punisher for the small screen. Although, after reading the following description, “adapting” might not be the right word. Perhaps “butchering” is more appropriate?
The Punisher is described as an hour-long procedural with a Marvel signature and a new take on one of the comic book giant’s iconic characters, Frank Castle, a rising star detective with the New York Police Department who moonlights as the vigilante Punisher, seeking justice for those the system has failed.
I was under the impression that the Punisher was a former marine and war vet who loses his family in a mob hit gone wrong, and then spends his life punishing violent criminals. Now he’s going to be a cop? Why is Fox developing The Punisher at all when they just plan to remake Dexter? I hope this new procedural features a smart allecky police captain who makes Punisher work late, and possibly a hip goth crime lab chick who he can flirt with.
The character has been adapted three times as a film, and although each film had its good points, none of them were a hit. Why this concept is so hard to crack is baffling. Here’s the recipe to a great Punisher story:
Step 1: Show an awful villain beyond redemption committing horrific acts.
Step 2: Show the Punisher killing this villain.
Step 3: Rinse, repeat.