The Witcher -Pilot first draft is out

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What do you do when you finish a brilliant game such as The Witcher 3? You buy the expansions, Hearts of stone and Blood and wine. Once you beat the whole damned thing you try and fill the void in your soul by reading Andrezj Sapkowski’s books detailing Geralt’s exploits. Once you’re done with the game and the books all that is left is to become addicted to the message boards concerning the Netflix adaptation which was announced in May 2017.

While until today people have been arguing about who should step into Geralt’s shoes (Anson Mount in this writer’s opinion) we finally have some official news on the project and it comes straight from Head Writer Lauren S. Hissrich’s Twitter.

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Attached to the photo was this message:

pilot is out for notes, and I’m out for the weekend to spend some time with my kids. See you bright and early on Monday!

So not only is it real, it has already begun. With a writer that has done work on Daredevil ,The Defenders (both really well received Netflix shows) and The West Wing and Mr. Sapkowski himself as a consultant on the project it is good to see that they are fast at work. A great start of the week for nerds everywhere!

Jon Bernthal IS The Punisher

When Marvel chose to cast Jon Bernthal as The Punisher in the second season of Daredevil a lot of people were less than optimistic because most of us still associated Bernthal with The Walking Dead’s Shane.  Equally hated and loved, Shane was an amazing and complex character that only Bernthal could have pulled off. I, for one, was sorry to see him go.

It was by watching interviews of Bernthal that I realized how  different he is from the characters he plays, Shane in TWD, Grady ‘Coon-Ass’ Travis in Fury , to name just two of his roles before stepping into Frank Castle’s combat boots. A father of 3, Jon Bernthal is actually a pretty relaxed and happy dude, friendly and open, nothing like the majority of his characters that seem to have a penchant for violence and a dark dangerous side to them.  The fact that he can so easily transform into his characters comes as a true testament of his acting prowess, but now, let’s go deeper into the character we’re talking about, Frank Castle AKA The Punisher.

In this iteration of the character Frank Castle is a man set on taking on all criminals by any means necessary with the ultimate goal of erasing them from our world. While previous movies about The Punisher  did not show the Marvel Studios banner, this one IS Marvel’s  The Punisher. Jon Bernthal has studied the character at length and said :

once you devour and eat up as much as you can, my way is to make it as personal as possible

His main inspiration, however, is Thomas Jane’s short film Dirty Laundry in which the actor was basically paying homage to the character and the fans after deciding not to star in a second movie due to creative differences with the studio.

On understanding the character Bernthal had this to say :

He ain’t got a fucking cape. He ain’t got any superpowers. He’s a fucking tortured, angry father and husband who’s living in this unbelievable world of darkness and loss and torment.

The Punisher is basically an angry  man, completely broken by the tragic loss of his family, who then rose up and took to hunting down anyone who had anything to do  with his loss and anyone involved in criminal activities of any kind. Having killing bad guys by any means necessary as his only reason to live turns Castle into a true psychopath, and when we add sorrow and sometimes guilt for the loss of his two children and wife, not being able to get close to anyone and not trusting people easily The Punisher becomes a challenge for any actor.

When Bernthal’s  Punisher was introduced on Netflix’s Daredevil nobody expected him to steal the show from Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk (brilliant Vincent D’Onofrio)but he totally did and this is why he was given his own show. Don’t believe me? Take a look below:

John Bernthal certainly has the look: the crazy eyes, the broken nose reminding viewers of someone who is accustomed to violence, the Jarhead haircut that accentuates the psycho look and the functional fitness of his body. Neither big nor small, built but flexible, muscles that you know aren’t just for show.

The Punisher / Jon Bernthal

When it comes to playing a character with no superpowers, credibility is key, that’s when the actor is required to be believable, to become the character to be able to a certain degree to perform the actions that define him. Bernthal trained with live ammunition, spent hundreds of hours lifting weights and sparring with USMC combat instructors and result was amazing. Jon Bernthal IS The Punisher.

The Punisher/Netflix/November17th

If you are a Comic Book fan and are looking for something to binge on Netflix it is time to rejoice and start to count down to November 17th.

The Punisher is coming to Netflix  with his very own Tv Show which we hope will finally do this underrated character justice. After a few Movie adaptations that were more or less successful, maybe a Tv Show under the Netflix umbrella will finally get the job done.

Frank Castle aka The Punisher is my favorite psychopath and I could not be happier with the casting choice. Jon Bernthal’s eyes alone give off enough inhuman intensity and uncontrolled rage so that  his voice, the physique and his overall look come as really welcome bonuses.

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Jon Bernthal in David Ayer’s Fury

Jon’s final appearances in The Walking Dead as the hated Shane were incredibly powerful and they made the fans actually be sorry to see him gone. It was  that performance that made  Jon Bernthal  show up on the radar of whoever was in charge of casting for Darevdevil’s second season. They immediately went with him and it resulted in a Daredevil season in which the star was Frank Castle. Just take a look here:

Bernthal’s portrayal of The Punisher was so well received by audiences that Netflix announced a spin-off immediately in which he will have the main role. Fans couldn’t be happier.

Frank is not a superhero, has no supernatural abilities, is not really tech savvy, he is just driven by vengeance , hate, ammunition and whiskey.

Check out the trailer for the series that will air on Netflix on November 17th:

The Punisher, the journey so far

It was in 1974 when the “father of gods” Stan Lee as a publisher first green lit a project helmed by Gerry Conway with John Romita Sr and Ross Andru. This took place at Marvel Comics and the name of the project was The Punisher.

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After his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #129, The Punisher slowly became one of the most loved heroes for comic book fans everywhere. Frank Castle (Francis Castiglione) is the perfect antihero: war veteran, special forces training, grieving for a murdered family, starts a war on crime delivering his very own brand of extreme justice targeting anyone involved in crimes no matter how small. Frank Castle will shoot the kneecaps off a bicycle thief just as easily as he would cut the face off a murderer.

It is because Castle does not have any special powers, is very often hurt by his opponents but most of the time prevails out of bitterness and is purely driven by hate that he has amassed a huge following. The Punisher  is indeed an angel of death, he has no remorse, no moral dilemma, not a lot of friends. (pretty much what I want to read about after I get off work)

Frank Castle has made appearances in animated series, video games and movies and this is what we’re going to talk about today.

Dolph Lundgren was the first man to step into Frank Castle’s shoes in 1989 bringing us a lean mean 80’s style killing machine (too much naked Frank holding yoga poses for my taste).

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Years later, in 2004 , Thomas Jane did a wonderful job portraying Frank Castle in what was meant to be The Punisher’s origin story.

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Jane, a known comic book fan, took the part seriously, trained with Navy SEALS, fully immersed himself in the character, almost ruined his joints with intense training but parted ways with the studio before Punisher: War Zone because of creative differences. He wanted the movie to be darker and more violent, they didn’t. Thomas Jane wrote a farewell letter to Castle’s fans via Ain’t It Cool News that broke me at the time. The Punisher needed to be brought to life by a fan.

I’m writing to tell you that I regretfully and painfully had to pull out of P2. I can’t tell you how completely broken up I am about it. After busting my ass at the gym four days a week for almost two years, watching every character driven action pic that any fan would ask me to watch while I was standing in line buying egg whites and Tuna fish (Leon the Professional, Oldboy, The Seven-Ups (GREAT flick), Point Blank, Escape from NY, The Driver, Magnum Force, The Mechanic, The Great Silence, Sexy Beast, Nighthawks, Cry Vengeance (check it out), Road Warrior, Man on Fire, Outlaw Josey Wales, Rocky (think about it), Serpico, etc etc etc.) after countless Saturday nights making notes and drinking soda water and munching on seaweed sticks while my daughter slept on my lap to the sound of automatic gunfire, (now she can’t sleep without it. I had to make a tape of automatic gunfire to play in her room at night) after hauling myself to any ‘Guns! Knifes! Ammo!’ show in any small town that I found myself in shooting Killshot or The Mist or Mutant Chronicles, after torn ligaments, screwed up rotator cuffs, thousands of $$$ on ridiculously huge vitamins, overly long conversations with frighteningly tall men about The Fastest Way To Kill Someone With Your Bare Hands, and after a dude refused to sell me a Fatburger at 2am on Santa Monica Blvd, I am, sadly – no, make that heartbrokenly – f*** it – just rip out the heart and stomp it into the pavement a couple of times – pulling out. Punisher fans are already fighting an uphill battle as it is. And I’ve always felt a responsibility to fight that fight for them and with them so that Frank Castle gets the treatment he deserves.

In 2008 Ray Stevenson tried his best to bring The Punisher to life and while his portrayal was decent, the movie did not fare well at the box-office.

punisher4Stevenson’s Punisher was hard, almost lacking any kind of emotion, ruthless and packed a huge amount of firepower. Dominic West’s Jigsaw puts up a good fight and we also get to see Micro, Castle’s on and off sidekick. They just couldn’t replace Thomas Jane.

But in March of 2016 a new iteration of The Punisher emerged as the character had a guest role on the hit Tv Show Daredevil, on Netflix.

punisher 6This was the first time the world got to see The Walking Dead veteran Jon Bernthal as The Punisher and what a ride it was. Bernthal’s Punisher is a lot more grounded and real than previous versions, the way he handles himself has a very tactical feel to it and he gives off that “former special ops” vibe. John Bernthal plays a Punisher that is not physically huge but at the same time is very menacing.

Bernthal is known mostly for his stint on the walking Dead where he played bad-ass Shane. Now if there was anything remarkable about Shane it was that constant feeling of lurking danger which was successfully transferred to Frank Castle in a way that even if he is unarmed or restrained people should still be extremely careful around him.

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Without spoiling anything, it is safe to say that Frank Castle’s appearance on Daredevil was so well received that the Netflix execs gave Jon bernthal his own show which is due to drop before the end of 2017, most likely in November. I know I’ll be watching.