Marvel is now working with Fox on a television adaptation of The Punisher, one of its most iconic characters.
The new show will depict the story of Frank Castle, an officer in the New York Police Department who spends his days solving crime, and his nights vigilantying against those who he knows are guilty, but whom the system has been unable to punish.
The show will likely resemble a modern crime procedural for the most part, as that’s what’s popular right now, in fact, that’s the only reason there could be behind making Castle into a cop.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they even changed the characters name, since there is already a popular crime solver called Castle on television right now.
The original Punisher books started in the 70’s, with Castle as a recently returned Vietnam veteran whose family is killed by the mob. To get revenge, he trains up, gets some guns and gadgets, and puts on a Kevlar suit with a skull painted on the front.
While he exists in the same world as other Marvel heroes (he first appears as a Spider-Man character), he has no actual superpowers himself, unless you count an extreme pain tolerance.
The character runs like a violence tolerant Batman. While Bruce Wayne’s experience with the loss of his family to crime caused him to abhor guns and killing, the Punisher has gone off the deep-end in the other direction. He has no qualms with killing or torturing to accomplish his goals.
I wouldn’t count on the show keeping much more than the costume and guns, however. Everything else is up in the air.
There have been several film adaptations of the character over the years, and mostly, the films have used a very loose interpretation of the story. Most of them have been critically panned, and financially unsuccessful.
The pilot deal itself is interesting because it’s the first time Marvel has made an adaptation deal outside of their parent company, Disney, since they were acquired some years back, which means that ABC (also a Disney company, and so where we would expect a Marvel series to show up) has for some reason decided to pass on The Punisher.
The only name tied to the project so far is producer Ed Bernaro, currently known for producing the successful Criminal Minds.