Lexi Alexander Reflects On Directing PUNISHER: WAR ZONE; "Everything That Was B-Movie-Ish Was A Deliberate Choice"

Lexi Alexander Reflects On Directing PUNISHER: WAR ZONE; "Everything That Was B-Movie-Ish Was A Deliberate Choice"

Arrow director Lexi Alexander weighs in on helming Punisher: War Zone, commenting on its budget, tone, comic book inspiration, and why she doesn't regret approaching it the way she did.

By JoshWilding - Jan 27, 2016 03:01 PM EST
Filed Under: Punisher: War Zone
Source: Comic Book Resources
It may not have been a masterpiece, but Punisher: War Zone did a great job bringing Frank Castle to the big screen in a way which reflected his portrayal in the comic books. While Thomas Jane remains a fan-favourite version of the character, I for one have always preferred Ray Stevenson, and Lexi Alexander brought a lot to the table with the movie (despite it not being a critical or commercial hit). In the video below, the filmmaker - who will soon turn her sights to Supergirl - weighs in on the experience of making Punisher: War Zone and the reception it subsequently received from fans.

I like it. The other day somebody put a clip up -- the famous parkour grenade shooting -- and here's the thing: This was the time people started getting $300 million to make [comic book movies]. I think [Christopher] Nolan was just making the second "Dark Knight" -- we heard $300 million, but it was probably even more. People were getting proper money to make these films.
Here I am, it's not even Marvel [Studios] doing it -- it's Lionsgate financing it. I'm here with $22 million making "The Punisher" and it didn't occur to me that I would be going out there compared to the big boys. I thought we were making this. And I still think that we should be making all budget levels comic book films -- they don't all have to be $300 million films, in my opinion. ... I didn't see anything wrong with it. What I didn't expect is this reaction to, "Oh my God, why didn't you do it like 'Dark Knight?'"
And I looked at all the MAX comic books, and I think that's why people like Kevin Smith and Patton [Oswalt] always gave them good reviews because they understood that I actually went directly to the comic book. And you can put the panels next to the [screen], I didn't even add anything much to it. Other than the parkour grenade shot [Laughs]. That was, "Oh, let's do this brand new thing." And I'm prouder now than I was back then because back then I thought, "maybe this does really suck." And now I'm like, no, this was a deliberate choice. Everything that was cheesy in it, over the top, B-movie-ish, was a deliberate choice. And everybody going in knew that. That was my pitch. My pitch was literally "Let's take this back to the '80s and make a B-movie, cheesy [sic] and base it on exactly this MAX series of 'Punisher.'" And we got exactly that.

Later on, I remember Patton putting it into his Soak Up the Dark Festival, and people were standing around the blocks, like two blocks for people to get in, and all of them in the screening and the Q&A said, "I didn't even know it was out." So I think we kind of got lost in the shuffle of it.


Lexi Alexander Director of Punisher: War Zone Reveals Freddie Prinze Jr. Was Almost Jigsaw

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KikinGonzalez - 1/27/2016, 3:24 PM
Even the low budget-Godzilla remake by @SuperCat had better production values

Scorpo - 1/27/2016, 3:29 PM
@KikinGonzalez - tryna steal my power rangers gifs m8?
KikinGonzalez - 1/27/2016, 3:32 PM

That was a top notch film by SuperCat. It was called "The Gusto Supremacy"
Scorpo - 1/27/2016, 4:25 PM
My name is Scorpo. You stole my gif. Prepare to die.
KikinGonzalez - 1/27/2016, 5:34 PM

Scorpo - 1/27/2016, 7:39 PM
@KikinGonzalez - LMFAO!
GhostDog - 1/27/2016, 3:26 PM
Didn't know she's a former world champion in point fighting and karate.
JonAwesome - 1/27/2016, 3:27 PM
I actually really loved this movie for what it was! The only thing I didn't like was the way Jigsaw was acted, way too hammy!
Jaspion - 1/27/2016, 3:29 PM
Not really sure of what I just saw.
rondz123 - 1/27/2016, 3:29 PM
I loved this Movie

It was crazy and it needed to be and she has a point
CloydeSyfox - 1/27/2016, 3:40 PM
@rondz123 - I also loved this movie ... what's not to love? Maybe a bit too dark for some people?
sickboy76 - 1/27/2016, 3:32 PM
She was on twitter talking about how DC directors could beat up marvel directors as if that's even remotely important when it comes to film making. [foo foo]s like her are the reason I grew up reading comic books.
Scorpo - 1/27/2016, 3:34 PM
when u dont care because the movie was bad and there is no excuse.
JonAwesome - 1/27/2016, 3:34 PM
AlexdoxA - 1/27/2016, 3:35 PM
This is my favorite Punisher movie out of the 4 (counting dirty laundry). I have such high hopes for Bernthal...
Scorpo - 1/27/2016, 3:36 PM
@AlexdoxA - I wish there was a dislike button still. Dirty Laundry > all the others
Scorpo - 1/27/2016, 3:35 PM
@BlackStar25 what is your opinion on Donald Trump "building" a wall?
BlackStar25 - 1/27/2016, 9:02 PM
@Scorpo - Im all for it.

JamesMann - 1/27/2016, 3:52 PM
Loved it, a pure grindhow B-movie CBM. I get why some might not but being someone who enjoyed those old style over the top cheesy films, I loved it. That's why I enjoy Ghost Rider SOV as well, same style of over the top B-movie. They're not great movies but they're both great rides.
JamesMann - 1/27/2016, 3:56 PM
"And I still think that we should be making all budget levels comic book films -- they don't all have to be $300 million films, in my opinion."

Hopefully Deadpool can get us back to this level of thinking. Not every superhero CBM needs to be such a huge productions.
Luigi - 1/27/2016, 4:00 PM
I'm definitely looking forward to a more serious take on the Punisher this March. Yeah, some "cheesier" Punisher comics exist but they've never been the ones I've been drawn towards. Especially given Punisher incredibly dark origin which I feel has great potential, it seems like a missed opportunity to take it and make something goofy out of it.
ThePhantazm - 1/27/2016, 4:01 PM
War Zone wasn't good but it was better than that god awful wannabe shakespeare crap with Tomas Jane. I haven't seen dirty laundry but the first punisher movie with Jane was garbage.
DellRusk - 1/27/2016, 4:08 PM
@ThePhantazm -

Watch the Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie from '89.
Obi2 - 1/27/2016, 4:01 PM
Punisher Warzone was awesome, people complain too much
superbatspiderman - 1/27/2016, 4:10 PM
Punisher Warzone is not a good movie but it is still a guilty pleasure of mine. When it is on TV I usually end up watching it.
JredTheRed - 1/27/2016, 4:22 PM
I loved WarZone....one of my fav comic book movies!
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