There are reports of Jon Bernthal returning as the Punisher. He will star in in a new MCU show featuring him as the titular character. The Punisher’s return to mainstream MCU is a significant milestone if this news is indeed true. The guy immortalized Frank Castle when he first appeared as the Punisher in Netflix’s Daredevil. And he is finally getting a chance to fulfil his purpose – play the man that knows no pain on screen. But here’s an unpopular opinion – the MCU Punisher series should take cues from Zack Snyder’s action sequences if it wants to do things right.
The Punisher is a man of rage and violence. He is known to shoot and punch first, think later. So naturally the two seasons of Punisher in Netflix centered around violent, gut-wrenching action. The audience loved the attention towards blood and gore. It captured the essence of the Punisher. He is a man who likes to bloody his fist rather than take down enemies from a distance. He is up close and personal. The teeth flying and skulls shattering action was right down Netflix’s alley.
But that will not be the case when Jon Bernthal becomes Punisher for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Netflix does things a certain way. What they lack in style they more than make up for in ultra-violence. That’s their forte and the viewer knew what he was getting into when he started streaming The Punisher on Netflix. But when the same viewer would switch over to Disney+, the expectations change drastically.
The MCU is more focused on aesthetics and panache. The bloodied fist mantra will not be enough to satiate an MCU fan, who has become accustomed to amazing movie-worthy action sequences be it a show or a film. That is where Zack Snyder’s contributions to the action genre come in handy.
The same cheesy dialogues and witty one-liners that have worked like a charm in other MCU projects will be a bust in an MCU Punisher series. What it needs is proper action direction that gives equal focus to the action choreography as well as visual aesthetics. Zack Snyder, for all the criticism he receives, is someone who has excelled that art form in the movie making discipline.
Take for example his direction of 300. The slowed down shots and the well-placed dialogues and characterization made for incredible and timeless battle sequences. Army of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead showed the Director has also mastered the art of presenting a looming sense of dread and danger during climactic action scenes.
Even when Snyder did superhero movies, he ensured the scenes left both parties bruised and scarred. Zack Snyder makes every action scene extremely realistic regardless of the genre.
The Punisher is a highly trained human being. We stress on the word human being because his story is of but one man fighting an endless army of evil criminals. Of course he will be bruised, cut, injured, and broken. And the scenes need to be dark and grim because that’s where all Punisher stories thrive.
The MCU Punisher Series needs Zack Snyder whether you want it or not.