Blade, Ghost Rider and The Punisher all back with Marvel

News Simon Brew 3 May 2013 - 05:40
Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance

Marvel Studios has regained the movie rights to The Punisher, Ghost Rider and Blade, it's been confirmed...

It was a sad moment last year when the rights to make Daredevil movies reverted back to Marvel from Fox. Sad, because director Joe Carnahan had put together some work that seemed close to nailing the character for a new big screen interpretation, but was beaten by the clock. A real pity.

A new piece at Entertainment Weekly meanwhile has confirmed that a few more properties are back in Marvel hands. It was already widely assumed that Blade and The Punisher were back in house, although we don't recall seeing anything absolutely official on that. It's definite now. But what is news is that Ghost Rider has reverted back to Marvel Studios too.

That, unsurprisingly, brings to an end Nicolas Cage's tenure in the title role, with the underwhelming box office receipts for Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance the likely reason that all concerned didn't press ahead with a third outing.

Our guess is that Ghost Rider will be retired in movies for some time to come, though. Certainly, we'd be amazed if he turned up in Marvel's phase four, yet alone phase three. But we'll keep you posted if we hear differently...


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This is good news. As for daredevil, Kevin Feige indicated that he will not be included before phase 3, but maybe 4. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they stopping with phase 3?

It sort of gets glossed over in the wake of the massive business that Marvel/Warners have done with their Marvel adaptations that the Ghost Rider films were absolutely dreadful - the second one in particular. The Punisher has been around in various guises and although that character has not really been done justice, they were no way near as terrible as Nick Cage's Ghost Rider. It would make a bit of sense to bring GH into the Dr Strange movie.

While the movies make money, why would they stop! I'd think it highly unlikely that an announcement to stop making Marvel films has been made.

They are not stopping with phase 3. They hope to keep going for the next century. Kevin Feige has admitted as much.

The Punisher would be the PERFECT recurring villain on SHIELD. Until he started working with SHIELD to catch a bigger foe. Y'all know it.

Yeah I don't know why they would stop after Phase 3. They have so many stories and characters to play with it is endless.

Is it just me or is this begging for a team-up movie called 'The Revengers?'

Two words 'Marvel Knights'. An R-rated movie universe that links with the main MCU yet gives us the full unadulterated versions of these characters, Please god let this happen

Punisher is an awesome character and Thomas Jane was brilliant in the role. Well worth checking out DirtyLaundry, a short fan fiction Punisher film with him reprising the roll.

Punisher is in the same boat as Dredd to be honest, not impossible to film, just difficult due to the nature of the character and source material. Dredd is how a new Punisher film should look, grit, dirt, blood, chaos, crime and 18 rated.

Punisher isn't your happy, fluffy save the world in a spandex suit hero.

Hell a few more rights and they could make a trilogy out of the Civil War arc.

out of these heroes, I think i'd most like to see Marvel Studios take on Daredevil. The other's have had at least two on screen interations so Daredevil has kind of gotten the short straw. If only he and Spidey were able to team up in a movie :(

I'm sorry, but any time a Marvel property reverts back to Marvel, is a cause for celebration! Jezu.

I agree. At least Marvel have to think about both their corporate image at large and the specific image of their comic books being adapted when it comes to filming its properties. I think it offers an extra incentive for a film to be great that other companies don't have. Just look at what happened to Spider-Man: sure, Amazing Spider-Man was better than Spider-Man 3, but its creation was due purely to Sony's need to retain rights over the property (for further milking of the franchise).

It's a nice idea, but the character is so inherently R rated that it would be difficult to slot him into that TV show without either drastically altering the tone or dramatically reducing the character.

Yeah, like Disney is going to do that.

Sad but true.

The Punisher is an odd property for Marvel to own, because it is much more difficult to market as a film under the tone of the films currently in the MCU. Deadpool would be the same, really, if they ever got him. Both require an adult audience almost as a prerequisite. Blade too, come to think of it.

Touchstone Pictures ring a bell?

If it doesn't go R-rated I'm guessing that will be Marvel's choice more than Disney's as they seek to continue their all-ages approach.

Ghost Rider, Hulk and Dr Strange are the beginnings of The Defenders.

It could happen.

Well... GOOD! Man I want them to get xmen ff and Spider-Man back into the fold. Ci vil WAR! Ci vil WAR! Ci vil WAR!

So, they've got Blade back then? Makes me wonder how they can integrate vampires into the MCU - though if they are Twilight style vampires being hacked up by the Daywalker ... I'd pay to see that. Avengers vs Jacob... a short film indeed.

That would be awesome for the next 3 phases. Avengers 4: Civil War. Tony brings in Ares and Sentry and friggin Daken, if we have wolverine by then. I want to see marvel do an Avengers Initiative and a Thunderbolts film, but man we need Spider-Man and Norman Osborn. Heh. We. Then a build up to secret invasion for Avengers 5. And Norman officially takes over. Then the dark avengers get solo phase 6 movies until Avengers 6: Dark Avengers. And we culminate this with phase 7, Siege, and move on to... Whatever else?

Okay that's 4 phases. I'd be like 70.

Now if the new Shield TV show took queues from say Game of Thrones I think you'd be able to have a very nice Punisher re-occurring character.

But I have to agree with Pigsty, it's going to have to be happy and fluffy for the mass audience so Punisher just wouldn't fit.

Which is a shame, Punisher is abit like Bats in the respect. He's just a bloke. Admittedly he's completely hat-stand and crazy as a box of frogs but he's just a bloke.

In a show filled with super-powered fruit cakes he would have provided a nice dark grounding balance. But I would prefer he be left out un-altered rather than a Punisher-lite version.

Here's how I'd imagine you do it: some of SHIELD's suspects keep turning up dead, repeatedly. They don't meet him at first, they just realised someone is hunting the targets that they are too. They try to take him in, but can't, he's a recurring, elusive villain.

Until the finale, where all hope seems lost and Coulson visits The Punisher for help to save the rest of the team.

...I know it won't happen.

So can they include GR in guardians of the galaxy now please?

If you've not seen it you should definitely check out Dirty Laundry. It's a great piece of work and arguably the best Punisher 'film' available. In fact describing it as fan fiction doesn't do it justice at all. It has a proper director and stars not only Thomas Jane but Ron Pearlman! IMDb gives it 8.1 out of 10 from over 1500 users, which puts in on the same level as Avengers Assemble. I like it a lot.

I could, if someone from Marvel is reading this thread.

I'd love to see that.

By the time Phase 3 is over with, it'll be time for a reboot!

Just like Windows, apparently movie franchises can't go on too long without one.

Damn, and I loved Nicholas Cage at the role!

Good films need money to be made, but I think Marvel have been spending money wisely. Utilising writers, directors and actors who are highly acclaimed but not necessarily successful means quality at an affordable price and Marvel have used this model to make some great films (Even the Incredible Hulk was better than Spider-man 3).
I think that the Amazing Spider-man series, although Sony's cash cow, will continue to be good because Sony are following in Marvel's footsteps. How much of that is down to Feige's involvement - I wouldn't like to say.
A new era of cinema is dawning... one where the bottom line is a by-product of making a great film, rather than the sole reason to attempt one.

I'm not so sure that it is that unlikely. Disney have shut down their hand-drawn animation studios. They have bought the rights to Star Wars and bought Marvel outright. 10 years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of Disney making films for anyone other than nine year old girls, but times have changed.

I think out of them all Ghost Rider would fit best in the Avengers movie universe. Blade, The Punisher and Daredevil would work well in a darker, r rated movie, but with Dredd and The Watchmen being unsuccessful, I'm not sure Marvel would want to take such a huge risk. I secretly hope Fantastic Four falls apart and we can get Dr Doom versus The Avengers.

Dude! You'd probably be retired and would thus have HEAPS more time for Marvel movie marathons! WIN.

The Blade movies were successful yet aimed at an older audience. I think they are much more willing to go down that path when it's a horror-themed character, since no one gets to upset when you eviscerate vampires.

Dirty laundry is bloody awful!

Whoever made this has absolutely no idea what the Punisher is all about.

I do hope they keep Ray Stevenson as The Punisher, I thought he was great in 'War Zone,' a film that is criminally underrated in the first place in my opinion.

I've said it many, many times (on this site) but I will say it again. Animated. Punisher. Movies. Marvel have consistantly made way better live action adaptations of their characters than DC, but the one thing that DC have done extremely well are animated direct-to-dvd movies adapted from their most successful comics. So how about Marvel try and steal back some of that limelight, and adapt Ennis' MAX series of Punisher stories, starting with "In The Beginning" and going all the way through to "Valley Forge, Valley Forge". Also "Born" would have to be in there to give VF the proper context. I also enjoyed what Aaron did with the death of Frank Castle, but I will admit that the quality did go down a bit.

My arguments are this: An animated adaptation will allow the kind of ultra violence that is contained in the books to be depicted to a wider audience without completely grossing everybody out (a lot of the deaths in War Zone were exactly the kind of think I have read from Ennis' stories, but they were a lot more graphic "in real life"). The budget would be a lot lower, allowing more to be done with less. DVD releases rather than cinema releases would also increase profits. Also, it is no longer necessary to find the perfect actor, just the perfect voice actor. It needs to be someone who can pull off Batman style gravelly-ness, while still being understandable. I think the problem with Bale's much derided Bat Voice is that he had the right look and ability to act in the visual medium, but not a purely audio one.

What are you talking about? It's typically teenage to conflate gore and graphic violence with maturity. Does the the tone of the Dark Knight suffer because we see not a drop of blood in it? Is the Joker less threatening?
Punisher would absolutely, completely fit. You've seen Angel, or Buffy, right? They do dark without an R rating. It's such a fallacy and we need to disperse it.

Has anyone considered the idea that the Punisher is a weak-as-tits Batman rip-off designed as a once-off Spidey baddie and that Ghost Rider is just an awful, awful, awful 90s mistake we should forget? The fact that these aged rejects were ever developed into films is staggering.

Stevenson is actually in Thor so that might be out of the question

There's the fallacy. They require a teenage audience (less so Deadpool) as adults need something more than swearing, tits and blood before something is rated as mature. Punisher in the SHIELD tv show is perfect. Or as a recurring character on a Daredevil tv show.

Oh damn! Your right! Well I think they can work around that, the Punisher doesn't make many trips to Asgard in the comics, dos he?

Aye completely agree on the gore and graphic violence and gore and graphic violence for the sake of it has ruined far too many films of late. I don't think my original post explained my thinking clearly.

I was thinking more generally about the overall tone of the show

And I fear that the subject matter (for Punisher) involves guns, knives, explosive etc that it sometimes get watered down on tv so it can capture the younger audience.

You can have guns so longer as they don't look like or sound like guns. Or the you can have guns so long as they don't kill people. Or the guns only kill bad people.

Buffy was stabbing vampires with a stake, Faith using a crossbow, Arrow using a bow and arrow. All items that we don't associate (easily) with real-world violence that we see on the news day in, day out.

Don't see many drive-bys in the real world with a Zat'nik'tel

Though in fairness I've not watch all of Buffy and Angel so If I missed the episode where Buffy kills a boat load of Vampires with an automatic weapon I've just invalidated my whole point :)

But surely you understand my fear here.

Not disagreeing with your point, in hind sight, this is coming from the bloke that gave us Firefly so you're right they will find a way to put Punisher in.

Hey, they did it with Captain America and the Human Torch ...

how were Dredd and Watchmen unsuccessful? Watchmen made a $50 million profit at least anyways..

But, like, Battlestar Galactica uses bullets? Fringe? Iron Man shoots people? Even cap shot guys in the Avengers.
Have you been watching telly?! It's only cartoons that have limits on gun violence, pretty much. I'd wager they're aiming for the same audience with this show.

I thoroughly enjoyed Warzone, it was quite audacious with the violence and I agree Ray Stevenson nailed the role. There is lots to like about it but the bad guys in that movie were really rubbish. Irrespective of his role in Thor, he should get a second stab at it.

To be an outright success movies generally need to double their budget. The budget of the Watchmen was a 130 million dollar. However, that's just an estimate as it doesn't include how much they've spent on promotion. So that 50 million could have easily gone towards advertisement. Dredd didn't even make its budget back despite it being a great film - I don't mean the Stallone version.

Nicolas Cage as Ghost Rider on the other hand... I think Sony can keep him.

Good point, damn, forgot about them :)

And Stargate Universe (I've only just gotten round to watching it last night) was quite blood and bullet-tastic.

Clearly my thinking has more holes in it than a fishing net!

How about a 'starting out' Frank Castiglione who still believes that people can reform when he joins SHIELD renaming himself Frank Castle and as the show progresses he looses faith in SHIELD eventually leaving all together and becomes the Punisher (Leaving the show - returning only for cameo's)

That would be a really nice story arc, and very true to the character's back story, but riiiiight around the point where he snaps and becomes The Punisher, the show has to make a decision. Either we tone down what the Punisher does, because realistically this show is not going to be R rated, or we make the damn show R rated and allow Punisher to do his thing, or as you suggest we let him leave the show, even though we've spent a lot of time investing in this story arc and he'd probably be one of the favourite characters on the show if they had done it right (I know I'd love that story, and would be pissed if they spent a season building him into a rich, complex character, only to drop him from the show).

None to worry! I just really hope Marvel looks to the small screen though for DD. The Wire meets Batman with some Boston Legal thrown in and a dash of marvel universe.

Boston Legal was all kinds of awesome but now I can't get this image of Denny Crane dressed in DD costume out of my head!

Tom Jane only. He loves the character and plays him well. Watch Dirty Laundry.

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