Ever since Jon Bernthal perfectly inhabited the vengeful antihero in Netflix’s The Punisher, fans have been clamoring for the actor to make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut. It’s unlikely to ever happen, considering Disney’s family-friendly focus and the cancellation of Marvel and Netflix’s more mature superhero series. But that didn’t stop one pitch from trying to make it so.
Writer Adam G. Simon, who pens the upcoming remake of Gareth Evans’ 2011 brutal martial arts action phenomenon The Raid isn’t a remake anymore(which apparently ), is adding his voice to the crowd of those wishing for a Jon Bernthal The Punisher outing with the revelation that he once pitched an R-rated The Punisher movie to Marvel. Simon even had a full fledged idea of how to make it happen.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Simon revealed that he pitched an R-rated The Punisher movie “years before the [Netflix] series dropped.” The film was “like Falling Down by way of Full Metal Jacket,” the writer described before revealing that his film followed the previous two movies the violent vigilante Frank Castle on a mission that would bring him face-to-face with Nick Fury. But he adjusted his pitch in this conversation to take place after the series. Simon explained:
“In my take, we find Frank Castle as we left him at the end of the series, only now completely aware of the threat that superheroes and villains pose to mankind. So, Frank Castle has to go gunning for the person who he feels is responsible for the innumerable civilian casualties. The one who started it all by organizing these weapons of mass destruction to come together. Nick Fury. The twist is that Frank is being used, he spots the double-cross early at the end of act one. From that point on, we have a 3:10 to Yuma situation. Frank and Fury on the run from everyone, heroes and villains. It’s 3:10 to Yuma meets Leon: The Professional by way of Winter Soldier.”
“I put together the opening fifteen pages, the pitch deck, everything,” Simon said, revealing that he came to Marvel with his pitch around the time that Thomas Jane was playing the character in the 2004 Jonathan Hensleigh film and the accompanying 2012 short “Dirty Laundry.”
But Simon didn’t anticipate Bernthal’s take, which he gushed “really nailed it.” The writer went on to imagine his original pitch with Bernthal in the role. “I want Bernthal to continue to explore the character and be completely unfettered and out of control. I think he does too,” Simon said. Simon made a casting wish list for this new version of his Punisher pitch, and threw in Eminem on the soundtrack for good measure. He told ComicBook:
“First, since he was so pissed about it getting canceled, you get Eminem on board for the music and the soundtrack. Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, Joel Edgerton as Bullseye, Kristin Scott Thomas or Edie Falco as Ma Gnucci, Jeffrey Wright or Russell Crowe as Micro, Sam Jackson as Nick Fury and a few of The Avengers, namely, Falcon, Black Widow, and Winter Soldier. Oh, and since we are talking obscene amounts of violence and mayhem, you get Joe Lynch directing. If fans got a problem with that hot take, I got seven others. Let’s go.”
Well, there you go. Simon’s already got the idea and the cast, as well as a star who is probably willing to return to the role. Your move, Marvle.
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