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Friday, February 15, 2008

PUNISHER: WARZONE UPDATE ... UPDATE

Man, I forgot just how intense the comic book underground is. I've already gotten hate mail and car-bomb threats. I thought this was obvious, but for the record, after arbitration I WOULD NOT have gotten credit anyhow. So I didn't "pull my name off the script", I removed my name from arbitration. It was just my way of taking some control of the situation. Didn't want the WGA to waste their time or insult the other writers who did the majority of the work. I thought it was the high road, but maybe not. I guess blogging about it was the mistake. This update may also be a mistake... Let me say, also for the record, the Punisher: Warzone script is not a bad script, in fact, I think it's a very tight script. My beef, my frustration, was not about the script being good or bad, it was about creative choices. The comic book formula I referenced makes for fantastic movies. The last Batman, the Spiderman franchise, these were all fun, well-written movies. I had hoped The Punisher could be something more unique. Again, I'm not saying this movie will not be unique. I hear very good things about Lexi's lead. The fact that it went the way it did was the decision of some very talented producers who know a lot more than I do. Okay, I think I've qualified my ass bloody, here. So, no disrespect to Marvel, Lexi, the producers, the writers, the Punisher fanbase... now can someone please return my fucking dog.

12 comments:

stock2mal said...

Did someone really take your dog?

Tom Feister said...

So sad. What's more frightening: Fan-boys or Bikers?

Scott said...

So feature wise, what are your favorite genres to work on?

Kurt Sutter said...

It's not a genre that attracts me, it's the characters. Don't really care what the world is, as long as the people in it are compelling and fucked up. My feature stuff has been pretty diverse -- police dramas to sci-fi thrillers. Probably why I don't have any produced credits -- I tend to deviate from the marketable. I love the idea of turning a genre on it's head. Bringing a preconceived notion crashing to its knees. I've been lucky enough to have a steady day job in TV, so it's allowed me to make some more eclectic choices in features.

Kurt Sutter said...

my dog is safe and sound. dramatic license to make a point.

Calum Sanderson said...

Kurt, I'm behind you 100%. I would have loved to see your film, but especially with a new actor (no discredit to him, but replacing an actor is a big no-no in my book), and rewrites to get it "up to standard" I'll be saving my 15 bucks. You also have legitimate reasons behind taking your name off of the script, I think. I loved the first Punisher film because it seemed it was what you have explained, a gritty, real superhero movie, but sort of a compromise between talent and money-makers, if you catch my drift.
Personally, most of the shit people say like death threats and stuff is complete and utter bullshit so I wouldn't worry. They just want to feel superior, and strangely, just because they know deeply about these characters they feel a need to be pissy as if they created it or something.
The internet is a strange place, and can be used as a tool or weapon.
I love your way of looking at film though, I have somewhat the exact same opinion, turning something on its head. I'm a film-maker and would love to work with you on something in the future if you would be up to it?
Stick to your guns mate and keep fucked up characters coming to the screens!
Calum

Frank Dirscherl said...

I like your way of thinking. You'd actually, probably, be a good screenwriter for The Wraith, if it were to ever get somewhere. Perhaps one day...

Peter said...

heh, guess a lot of fanboys were happy that "the man" from the Shield was working on "their" comic book movie. Thin line between love and hate, even thinner line between geek and git. Look forward to your future work, Kurt.

Mike V said...

Quick question Kurt, do you know if the scene where Frank crawls across a table a kills a guy with lobster is still in the script?

Harlan said...

How cool is this? Nice to see more writers are posting blogs. I'm an artist, but also an aspiring writer of sorts. It's nice reading your comments, you sound like teh real deal and anyone married to Katey Sagal, must be awesome. I must say that I don't always get a chance to catch the shield, but I've always been impressed by it and find it far more entertaining than CSI, Law & Order... etc. I prefer the gritty storylines that the sheild offers and the characters are rather messed up in general-real people. I have a few questions for you Kurt. First the typical question...is it possible for an outsider to pitch an idea for tv? I have a couple of ideas ranging from animated series, kid shows, to a film trilogy.Being an artist I think I could bring a unique colorful vision to the screen. Perhaps my ideas might receive notice if I present them in a comic format or film a few teasers first. Second, what are your thoughts on the first ( excuse me second) "Punisher" film featuring Tom Jane. It's interesting that you say Jane didn't like your more realistic take, when I thought part of his reason for leaving the project was that it was not going in a more intense direction. I loved Jane's portrayl as the Punisher. But I never thought Jane looked quite like the Punisher. I always felt he should have been destined to play "Captain America". Finally, I understand that you are involved with making a remake of "Return of the Dragon". Though a flawed film is a classic because of Bruce Lee! I couldn't imagine the pressure making that over. Neverthless, I'm wondering why no one has tried to make "Game of Death" over? Now there is a film that desperately crys "REMAKE"! It's an incomplete film and I've always thought it would be cool if someone came along and made it actually as Bruce Lee invisioned it. Do you think you would consider tackling it at all after .."Dragon"?

trower2000@yahoo.co.uk said...

I have to say that I found the first Punisher outing to be truly painful...

I hear that the Burmese Junta are currently using this cinematic masterpiece and a string of Thomas Jane sound bites in the set up of Buddhist monk interrogations.

In all seriousness... never has the name of a film been quite so ironic. If you didn't feel Punished before you went in, you certainly felt suitably chastised as you left... which if I remember the audiences reaction, was about a third of the way through.

Given a choice, I would prefer swallowing razor wire... crapping it out... and flossing my bits with it, over sitting through that inane shit again.

I'm not saying that what I wanted in a new Punisher movie, was what you had planned kurt... but I do get the distinct impression that your proposal was a little bit more mature than what seems to have been adopted.

This franchise needed a rewrite... Something that could disturb and shock... 'Man on Fire', 'Black Hawk Down'... With films like these out there, what has the industry learnt? Please tell me that we are not going to see any more refuse from the WWE trying to act the role of a respected hitman... ?

Here's an idea...

Punisher (Begins :))...
Sect 1: 'Black Hawk Down' war scene in either Vietnam or ambiguous Muslim country. Serious shit is flying everywhere... Frank Castle gets injured and left behind to die but manages to escape into the surrounding wilderness. Hmmm... Why not have him being left behind by Jigsaw? Maybe Frank manages to destroy the fleeing chopper, and this is how jigsaw becomes Jigsaw... ?
Sect 2: Rumours spread amongst the allied troops of a western guerrilla fighter, chairing a one man campaign, whilst donning a crude white skull on his chest... The military try desperately to remove him from the war zone as peace talks are on the horizon, but it appears that he has already become a somewhat rogue force.
Sect 3: Frank is eventually found by the American military and discreetly smuggled back to America, where Uncle Sam can leave him to re-integrate himself into society. Jigsaw has apparently disappeared and is believed to be dead. Castle tries to re-enlist, but his psychological profile is rejected and his wife falls pregnant.
Sect 4: Though loving his wife deeply, Frank is a tortured figure, who finds it hard to communicate. He needs a purpose and that comes in the form of Police work... Give a man a purpose and you give a man his life.
Sect 5: Years pass... Frank is a cop on a mission, His skills are considered unnatural by his peers, but really he is merely an exceptional justice delivering machine. He's successfully held onto his wife and family and this aspect to him seems to have stabilized.
Sect 6: Jigsaw surfaces as a crime boss in NY. Frank goes after him, but in his quest for vengeance, his wife and child (the only things keeping Frank sane), are taken from him. Castle doesn't feel sorry for himself... Instead he chooses to hunt down everyone involved and send them to hell... Frank embarks on his mission to eradicate any wrongs he encounters.

Dave said...

I'm a devoted fan of the Punisher character and as such will never be 100% happy with any project that tries to sum it up in 108 minutes (or thereabouts.

I thought Tom Jane was brilliant as Castle, I thought he did justice to the character or at least viewed it the same way I do. When he pulled out, I wrote this sequel off as a non-event, much like that celluloid abortion AVP:R.

I commend you for sticking to your guns, as I believe what you have written about your motivations for pulled back from the film again reflect my own hopes for the sequel.

It may be a good film as you have said, but I don't think it will be a good Punisher film. Another childhood dream gets shit on by people who think they know better.

I feel robbed of the chance of seeing your film as you no doubt feel robbed of seeing your film made.

I'll be waiting for it on free-to-air TV, but not eagerly.