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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.


  • Fluffy

    Based on the description, I’m glad they passed.  Frank as a detective doesn’t work for me.

  • George Mitchell

    Wait a second… isn’t there already a series of a guy named “Castle” who moonlights as a police detective?

  • Keith Allen

    Bad week for ABC studios, 2 canceled pilots and 1 in 2013-14. Better stick to the movies!

  • CudaBiro

    Thank the Lord. It deviated too much from what has been established as the Punisher.

  • JP

    I think Marvel should go to a cable network where they can do the characters properly, instead of network TV where you have to worry about censors and are forced to change what makes the characters great.

  • Richardcasey

    Good. From the description it didn’t even sound like a Punisher show. Let someone do it at FX, HBO or Showtime, give them the room to just GO FUCKING NUTS with the character. Or, y’know, maybe have Nick Fury recruit him for a particularly down and dirty mission on the big screen.

  • Ken Staten

    Punisher would have worked on FX.Just make it based on the comics.Would have been an awesome urban Rambo.Oh well more “reality” shows on the way.

  • Duskknight45

    Man, I was really looking forward to this.

  • Michael J

    Praise Thanos.This show would have been a joke.I’m glad that we won’t be subjected to what would have been a garbage of a tv show.The Punisher is fine the way he is and if any network could probably do the character justice it would be HBO.