There is a rumor that has started circulating around this little thing called “the internet” that Lionsgate is pushing for the next installment of The Punisher to be rated PG-13. Given all we know of the franchise, this immediately smelled foul. Not being without charms and fully utilizing our ruggedly handsome looks, we tracked down our own source who is, of course, “close to the production.” Their word? “Bullshit.”
We could add some words in front of that, like “complete,” “total,” or “utter,” but it throws off the feng-shui of the post, but they would be appropriate. It looks like this originated over at Latino Review, who indicate that they have their own source. Now, I love those Latino Review guys, but I have no idea who they’re talking to. I do, however, definitely know our source and know that I trust them completely. Punisher: War Zone will be Rated R for Rambo-Levels of violence. Which is a good thing, because the kill count of Rambo (another Lionsgate release) was 236 and featured some of the best gore violence in years.
Now, while being Rated-R, the film is still facing a troubled production run, detailed by our Neil Miller at the end of last month. Who knows what else is going on in making the film “presentable,” though it probably has to do mostly with timing. While our source is more than enough for me, for you kids keeping count at home there are a few other things to keep in mind. First, former Marvel Entertainment CEO Avi Arad (and current Marvel producing partner) Avi Arad has always said that The Punisher was one character who would carry the R-Rating at Marvel (the other being Blade). Second, producer Gale Anne Hurd spoke at great length at Comic Con about the film and stressed the level of violence that would be in the film. Lastly, the exclusive footage shown at Comic Con, which was very well received, was definitely from a film that was Rated R, and it was the point they were selling – brutal.
In summation, this PG-13 rumor is total “bullshit.” Punisher: War Zone is still not a ship sailing smoothly, but it will come to theaters with that Rated R stamp all over it on December 5. And just in case you need more evidence of the R-Ratedness, have a look at the clip below, which was launched a few weeks back at Comic-Con.