Fox Passes on The Punisher
Buried within a Hollywood Reporter article about the status of ABC’s planned Incredible Hulk revival is word that Fox won’t be moving forward with an adaptation of Marvel’s The Punisher.
Announced in October, the drama from ABC Studios and Criminal Minds showrunner Ed Bernero would have transformed antihero Frank Castle into a rising-star detective in the New York Police Department who moonlights as a vigilante, seeking justice for those the courts have failed. Fox gave the project a put-pilot commitment, which means the pilot was actually put into production.
The Punisher was the fifth property on Marvel’s live-action development slate, following The Incredible Hulk, Cloak & Dagger, AKA Jessica Jones and Mockingbird, and the first to be sold outside of Disney-owned ABC. Now it joins AKA Jessica Jones on the list of pilots to be passed over.
Fox canceled Human Target, loosely based on the DC Comics property, in May 2011, and then in September gave a script commitment to an adaptation of The Spectre. However, there’s been no update on that project.