The co-writer of Hollywood’s forthcoming The Raid remake, Adam Simon, has revealed his pitch for an MCU Punisher movie that never came to pass.
Simon, who wrote 2019’s Point Blank, told ComicBook.com that he pitched his vision for the superhero movie “years before the [Netflix] series dropped,” adding that he “put together the opening fifteen pages, the pitch deck, everything.” Asked what the movie would have looked like, he replied: “Like Falling Down by way of Full Metal Jacket.”
A longtime fan of the character, Simon shared that he first became obsessed with The Punisher after reading the comic Circle of Blood. Written by Steven Grant, the 1986 four-issue limited series saw Frank Castle/Punisher take on The Trust, an organisation brainwashing prisoners to kill other criminals.
“It’s a very sick obsession that I have with The Punisher,” he said. “So my hobby is an ever-evolving pitch document that changes with each attempt Hollywood makes at the character. Now, it’s a whole different animal."
Whilst the writer is still eager to make his Punisher movie happen one day, Simon insists he’s a huge fan of Jon Berthnal, who played the role in the eponymous Netflix series. “He IS Frank castle,” Simon said. However, he thinks the now-cancelled Netflix series severely limited the character, suggesting that Bernthal was like “an olympic sprinter running while being forced to wear a giant weight vest.” Ouch.
Simon even has an ideal cast in mind, including “Joel Edgerton as Bullseye, Kristin Scott Thomas or Edie Falco as Ma Gnucci, and Jeffry Wright or Russell Crowe as Misco,” adding that the Avengers would also show up at some point. He’s especially keen to see Frank Castle and Nick Fury team-up: “Frank and Fury on the run from everyone, heroes and villains.”
With Punisher on Marvel’s backburner along with the rest of Netflix’s Defenders, there is a window of opportunity for Simon. Jon Bernthal insisted in an Entertainment Weekly interview that he is not done with the character, no matter where he goes – so here’s hoping Simon gets his chance to pitch once more. In the meantime, Simon’s message to the fans? “If fans got a problem with that hot take, I got seven others. Let’s go.”