The Raid remake writer Adam G. Simon revealed he pitched a Punisher film to Marvel Studios before the series.
After Jon Bernthal made his debut at The Punisher in the second season of Marvel’s Daredevil, the character was given his own standalone series on Netflix. However, the streaming service canceled The Punisher after two seasons as it began to terminate its relationship with Marvel.
However, writer Adam G. Simon revealed that he had pitched a Punisher film to Marvel Studios before the series was released. During an interview with ComicBook.com, The Raid writer commented on his pitch and noted that while he loves The Punisher series, he feels Jon Bernthal was limited by the confines of a television series:
“Yes. Years before the series dropped. It was that strange “Dirty Laundry” transition time for Frank Castle… I appreciated the hyper-stylized, big stick approach of War Zone and the Thomas Jane version of Frank Castle in the feature, but I think that the series really nailed it. At least with casting Jon Bernthal. He IS Frank Castle and is such an incredible talent… While I loved the series, I think that it limited what Bernthal was allowed to do with the character. When I see Bernthal as Frank Castle in that series, I see an Olympic sprinter running while being forced to wear a giant weight vest. I want Bernthal to continue to explore the character and be completely unfettered and out of control. I think he does too.”
Simon revealed that he put together the first fifteen pages of a potential Punisher film before the series was released, prompting him to believe it would be a mistake to revisit the origin story. However, The Raid writer outlined a rather detailed vision for a Punisher film that would see the character taken of Marvel’s Nick Fury:
“You got to let this thing live in R-Rated territory and it has to have the same grit and unapologetic boldness of Logan. 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.”
Before suggesting Joe Lynch as the ideal for a such a project, The Raid writer revealed that his Punisher film would include “Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, Joel Edgerton as Bullseye, Kristin Scott Thomas or Edie Falco as Ma Gnucci, Jeffry Wright or Russell Crowe as Micro, Sam Jackson as Nick Fury and a few of The Avengers, namely, Falcon, Black Widow, and Winter Soldier. ”
Here is the official synopsis for The Punisher season 2:
Former marine-turned-vigilante Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) has been living a quiet life on the road until he suddenly becomes embroiled in the attempted murder of a young girl (Giorgia Whigham). As he is drawn into the mystery surrounding her and those in pursuit of the information she holds, Castle attracts a new target on his back as new and old enemies force him to confront whether he should accept his destiny and embrace a life as “The Punisher.The Punisher season 2 stars Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Amber Rose Revah, Jason R. Moore, Deborah Ann Woll, Josh Stewart, Floriana Lima, Giorgia Whigham, Corbin Bernsen, and Annette O’Toole.
The Punisher seasons 1 and 2 are still available on Netflix.