The Next Spider-Man Villain Needs to Be The Punisher

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Yes... again
Over the last twelve years of Spider-Man movies one thing has become inescapable; Spidey just doesn't have the rogue's gallery necessary to really hold up in film any more. Personally, I suggest that we look to a hero for Peter Parker to face in his next outing, and that hero is The Punisher.

Let's consider the Big Bads at our disposal. The Green Goblin has appeared as a major antagonist in some form in three of the Sony films so far, with hints that Harry Osborne will once again return as the Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man 3. Of course, the Goblin is best-known for bringing about the death of Gwen Stacy, but aside from that he's not a really great villain because he never really remains a consistent person or threat. Norman Osborne out of costume is twice the bad guy he ever was in one, and both films series pretty much focused on killing Norman off to focus on Harry.

Then there's Doc Ock, of course, and the odds of him appearing in AM3 are nearly certain. Otto Octavius remains a fantastic opponent, and for my money Spider-Man 2 is as near-perfect a superhero movie as you could possibly make. That said, we're looking at Ock as just part of an army of bad guys, not the urbane and brilliant leading man that Alfred Molina brought to the screen.

Flashback
Reviews For The Easily Distracted: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Best Comics in April Part 1: The Mediocre Return of Peter Parker

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That's the real problem... the Spider-Man films have gotten by with their antagonist mostly due to brilliant casting. Sandman is an utterly ridiculous and pointless character in all respects, but Thomas Hardy can act his way out of a steel safe and made Flint Marko into a tragic figure we could identify with. Topher Grace gave us a pretty good take on Eddie Brock, and he can be forgiven for the somewhat tacked-on nature of the Venom transformation since that was what it was. Likewise, Jamie Foxx makes a good Electro, though I dare you to find someone who can give you a really in-depth character study of Electro for any actor to live up to in the first place.

What's left is a lot of flashy ideas with no real depth to explore. Rhino? Vulture? Scorpion? Even Kraven the Hunter are all really just a generic cycle of animal themed bad guys for Parker to punch. I'd love to see Mysterio, but only to give him a set up to appear in an adaptation of Kevin Smith's Daredevil arc, Guardian Devil later on. That one's on me, Hollywood. A nice, simple, beat-em-up scene used to create the perfect Daredevil movie. You're welcome.

Instead, let's look at The Punisher, whose last film is currently the third-worst grossing Marvel adaptation after Elektra and Howard the Duck.

This story continues on the next page.


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2 comments
vinnyvendetta
vinnyvendetta

I like the idea but I doubt Marvel would want to give their rights to the character to another film company like Sony especially with what happened with Lionsgate. What Marvel needs to do is get the right people on board for The Punisher. Nobody can say "Oh it can't be done! Just look at the other movies that flopped!" because everyone can remember how bad the 90's Batman movies were and then came Christopher Nolan to redeem the Batman franchise. Here is the problem with three of these Punisher films that I think needed improvement on that caused each film to plummet at the box office and critic acceptance.

The Punisher (1989) Granted Dolph Lundgren played as Frank Castle, the acting was lousy and the film was very low budget. Plus not too many people were aware of the character back then since he just came out with his own series that year. Also, where is the skull?? That's like making a Superman movie and not having Kal El have the 'S' on his chest!

The Punisher (2004) This being my favorite out of the three, this movie still lacked something for me. Though I loved Tom Jane's performance especially his voice fitting with Frank Castle's so well but there was too much dullness. The acting was great. But having Frank in Florida instead of New York was kind of weird for me especially when Punisher is having to use a long trench coat of all places, FLORIDA. You could tell Tom Jane was sweating his ass off under that thing. There was moments that were missed in this film which is sad because this one had the cast to pull off amazing things but fell short.

Punisher: War Zone (2008) Now this mess of a movie went back to the corny acting that was in the 1989 film. Plus the characters from the comics were mixed up in the film for some odd reason. Nick Cavala who was a mob boss in the comic but somehow is an undercover agent in the movie who Frank shoots without knowing. Now this part got me frustrated because the moral code of The Punisher is to never kill an innocent. But all those rules somehow didn't apply here which didn't make sense to me at all. If you are going to do a movie based on a particular character, do it RIGHT. Ray Stevenson did a great job as Punisher and the other actor did a good but sometimes cheesey Jigsaw. But I can understand why this film flopped.

What future writers and directors that take on the Punisher need to do is learn the mistakes of what the past films have made and try to avoid those flaws. If that can happen, then I believe that we all can see a successful Punisher film done right.

Gorillaboss
Gorillaboss

 ) The Punisher isn't a hero, and even he himself doesn't think so.  He's a vengeance-driven murder-machine.

) Ennis' "superhero" work isn't the correct model for a kid-friendly franchise, at all.  He generally loathes American funnybook superheroics, and his 1995 story--from a comic era where every "kewl" character used guns, knives, and guns-that-shoot-knives--where Punisher slaughters everyone in spandex was nasty, morbid, piss-taking fun.


) And speaking of slaughtering those in spandex, superhero movies already have the problem of killing off the antagonists at the end of every flick.  Almost none go to jail, to be seen again; no, they die at the end, and then get rebooted.  The Punisher will have to rack up a bodycount, and that's tired.  So very, very tired.

) The 1990s Batman animated series taught us that no matter how goofy, pointless, and/or idiotic a character is, they could be given depth and pathos with the right writing.  No one cared about Mr. Freeze or Clayface or Clock King until the audience was _made_ to care about them.


) I'm not one to nitpick grammar or spelling, but...man.  It's Norman Osborn, no -e.  And Thomas Haden Church played Sandman, not (English poet and novelist) Thomas Hardy.

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