Update - So Punisher: War Zone Will Be Rated R After All!

August 17, 2008
Source: Film School Rejects, Latino Review

Punisher: War Zone

Late last week, George from Latino Review reported that the upcoming Punisher: War Zone was going to be cut down to PG-13. Fans all over the internet went crazy, every last movie website I know picked up the story, and public interest in the movie went from very little to none. Now reports from multiple sources are slowly trickling in that confirm that it was all a bunch of bullshit. Woops! Apparently it looks like Punisher: War Zone will indeed be rated R after all. It was just a temporary internet-wide scare, but I think that news effectively killed all interest in the Punisher movie entirely. Does anyone even care about it anymore? Even I'm tired of reporting all this terrible news about the movie anyway…

The first report comes from Film School Rejects, who said an inside source at Lionsgate confirmed it was all "bullshit." Phew, we can wipe all that nervous sweat from our brows now! Additionally, Latino Review has been scouring for confirmation and posted an update written by the film's cinematographer Steve Gainer on the Raw Studios forums. His update includes these details (and more) as listed below.

Lexi is not off the film.

Lexi is still involved in the edit process.

The film is not (nor could it ever be) PG-13.

Today I saw a cut that ran 91 minutes.

Lexi did in fact get married.

Lexi is an incredibly talented director, and this film kicks major ass, as will be proven when it is released IN THEATRES DECEMBER 5th.

The film is most certainly not all exploding heads, but will reveal a great deal of Frank's persona and pain.

After seeing this ridiculously violent trailer, I'm not sure how anyone could've expected them to cut it down to PG-13 anyway, but I guess that's how rumors on the internet go. I think it's a bit ridiculous that Lionsgate is hiding in the dark on this one. Instead of actually coming out and confirming that it will definitely be rated R, they're letting even more sketchy reports like these two seep out. And these kind of reports aren't going to help at all. The only way this film would've maybe gotten on track for a solid opening in December would've been if they publicly would have stated that it was rated R and that's it.

So now that this whole PG-13 scare is done and over with, is there anyone left that still wants to see Punisher: War Zone? Even though I know it'll be R, all this bickering over Punisher has left me completely disinterested in the movie. I don't even care if they put out more red band trailers that show copious amounts of disgustingly exciting violence, I still probably won't care too much when it hits theaters in December. And my increase disinterest probably stems from Lionsgate's complete lack of care or concern or support for their own movie. They really don't give a shit about this movie and I ask somebody there to please prove me otherwise. Will anyone pay money to see Punisher: War Zone in theaters?

Find more posts: Discuss, Movie News, Opinions



Yes. I will. I'm glad to see it R

Sean on Aug 17, 2008


Basically their was an internet wide hoax, that many websites (including this one) spread saying the movie was going to be cut to all hell, and now you assume no one cares? Wow. Slick move shifting the topic. The people who care about the movie will still care about the movie. Few people put much stock into the movie being cut down to all hell, besides well, websites that make sensational claims with little evidence. This movie won't be great, sadly, but it should be decent. I am expecting a C+ level movie. I hope to see more but we will see. The Punisher deserves a great movie, but I can already tell that this movie is going to be extremely violent, and I doubt it will go much into the Punishers actual planning.

Kyle A. Koyote on Aug 17, 2008


I'm curious why all these "Lionsgate insiders" are so hell-bent on destroying this movie with negative buzz. They toss an unsubstantiated bone and every movie site on the Internet jumps on it as if were the truth just because some "unnamed source" says so. But Mr. Billington does make a good point that Lionsgate could certainly do more to quash these rumors. And my interest in this film remains unaffected by all the garbage out there. I'll see it.

Frank on Aug 17, 2008


Rated R or not this movie is going to be pretty bad. I miss Thomas Jane...

Joshua on Aug 17, 2008


thomas chose to do MC and not find a way to over come and preform in this one. I miss him as well.

Buttons on Aug 17, 2008


As far as to why the 'insiders' are trying to destroy this movie, does it really matter? Obviously the rumors weren't researched all that carefully because they are proven to be false, and of course it was completely illogical. PG-13 means they can't say the F word too many times. That probably meant a reshoot of some scenes, or them doing a decent amount of sound editing. Also it means less blood and gore, which means a hell of a lot of visual editing. They were going to do this all after they already spent how much money releasing a red band trailer. As well as announcing a release date? The rumor was DOA. It made zero sense. I think the most likely scenario was this was an internal attempt at either finding out who were anonymous sources online or just a general attempt to make people look silly for buying rumors, at the expense of this movie, which they have plenty of time to hype, and lets face it, no one expects this movie to be oscar caliber anyways.

Kyle A. Koyote on Aug 17, 2008


Why is everyone putting the blame on me?! It was news that everyone reported because we all thought it was true! And now that it isn't, I wrote this to say that it's not... but I feel like all this rumor discussion and so on has killed all my interest in it. That's my opinion... but I'm glad to see there are still others that are excited!

Alex Billington on Aug 18, 2008


yes,this is best news in long time

joker on Aug 18, 2008


I'm a little disgruntled that you would help destroy people's interest in a movie by reporting a rumor like that and then now that the rumor was proven false, you still act as if the rumor is true and don't attempt to generate that interest back. From what I saw in that amazing trailer, this movie looks like a better adaptation of the Punisher series than any other Punisher movie before it. Infact, it even looks like the comics, it has the same look and feel. I for one am excited to see this movie. And even if it sucks, c'mon, Newman is in it. It's gotta have some level of entertainment value if Newman is in it.

Kail on Aug 18, 2008


Ater seeing all the clips at Comic-Con, i remain very interested in The Punisher.

Stuart Mellor on Aug 18, 2008


maybe we still have a chance to see that chair in eye on the big screen 😀

joker on Aug 18, 2008


I think - if anything - these rumore will only HELP The Punisher. Think of the timeline. Ridiculously violent red band trailer is released. Builds buzz with a "holy shit, he just blew that guy's head off" bloodlust. Fans pass it around, hook others. Rumor comes out that it will be PG-13. People who were excited to see an R movie that doesn't pull punches are disapointed. Angry even. A week later, they come out and say "Just kidding!" Fans rejoice and - this is important - KEEP TALKING ABOUT PUNISHER WAR ZONE. The point is that they're keeping this movie top of mind among people that may not have been enthusiastic otherwise. I'd say it's been more than effective in terms of marketing.

Tom Brazelton on Aug 18, 2008


The blame belongs strongly on the shoulders of millions of fanboys who ready to believe every single rumor out there and drone on and on about how "so-and-so" should play this chacter and nobody else, how every movie is the greatests ever filmed or the worst with no middle ground, and believes that certain studioes are out to get them. Hey, I just say the new Transformers movie, I'm an insider, trust me. They replaced the CGI ofOptmus Prime with The Rock in a robot suit and it would have been the greatest movie of all-times, hands down beating Citzen Kane if the studio had not insisted that Gary Coleman play Megatron. Good Christ people! If I was a filmmaker I doubt I would even touch a fanboy movie due to everyone's fickle bitching every five seconds and willingness to believe everything they read on-line without thought. For the Punisher, (1) Thomas Jane is not in the film so either get over it or don't see it for that reason, but stop bitching about it. Jesus, how do you react when your girlfriend dumps you; can we say restraining order? (2) Lions Gate wants to make money so they are not trying to ruin the movie. (3) How hands-on is Lions Gate anyway? They're the distrubtors, are they the producers? (4) half of the complants, I think, started with the announcement of a female director andf have snowballed from there. Hey, fanboy, girls can do vioence too, see Near Dark. Now, I hope it is true that Lexi is still in control of the film; no director should lose control of their film. If the concept of the Punisher alone does not warrant an R then the MPAA needs to be dissolved right now (then again, he does not talk about sex so it might pass their Purtain standards as long as the violence is for a conservative cause). Is the Punisher going to be great? I don't know. I am aiming for good. I'll be disapointed if its slow and dragging. I'll be pleasently surprised if it is as psychologically deep as the Dark Knight. As a fan of the character for decades now, I'll see the film and decide for myself.

Goudos on Aug 18, 2008


I don't mean to blame this site for reporting it, because it is hardly the only site that did report it. I just think it was an illogical rumor. It would of cost the studio an amazing amount of money to recut the film, just to appeal to a 'large' audience with a PG-13 rating. I am kind of thinking these rumors will be good for the movie actually. We will just have to see what happenes.

Kyle A. Koyote on Aug 18, 2008


Lol alex, don't you know. Its our job to shoot the messenger. But i agree #13, its our faults for believing that it could be true. Ps Don't forget everyone, that Mr. Bay said he would put out alot of fake stuff in anticipation for Transformers 2. So just don't believe everything.

Buttons on Aug 18, 2008


thankfully the rumors are false but what else could they have been? after a violent as hell trailer then a rumor about a pg-13 version hits, it's probably all to build interest and buzz for the movie. as far as interest goes, i'm still excited to see it and would pay money too! as for lionsgate not despelling the rumors, who's to say they aren't behind them to generate the buzz themselves?

thejugfather on Aug 18, 2008


Alex, after seeing that red-band, you should have known it was a hoax.

Ryan on Aug 18, 2008


I can't believe anyone thought for a second that this could be recut into a pg-13. Without even seeing the redband trailer, I could tell that this was going to be rated R from the get-go. If they did recut it, it would probably be about a half hour long.

JL on Aug 18, 2008


It's gonna suck the big one, anyway.

JL on Aug 18, 2008


This is gonna be great! Now if only we could get something other than Watchmen coverage on this website *cough*X-Men Origins: Wolverine*cough* I'll be a happy camper.

Daas on Aug 18, 2008


I'm still interested in seeing this flick. Some of us fanboys need to chill and understand that in Hollywood land anything is possible and snippets of news can be spun to generate buzz in either direction. This Lionsgate/ Lexi Alexander/"Punisher: Warzone" debacle reminded me of the Jon Favreau/ Marvel Enterprises situation from a short while back. This is all in the name of publicity, whether good or bad, some buzz of some sort will be generated---therefore creating interest in the final product. Just like Alex pointed out---he's just reporting his findings---that's all!!!

Spider on Aug 18, 2008


@12, I think you're right. It is a good way to get publicity. @13, My interest in this film is fairly low, and it has nothing to do with a female director. I don't even know why that should make much difference, anyway. I don't think anyone was afraid that she was going to turn it into a romantic comedy. The lead actor just doesn't cut it for me. I think that's why people are lamenting the loss of Thomas Jane. When watching the previews, I have to remind myself that I'm not watching Steven Segal, and that's a bad thing. I like actors with a little more depth. I may be missing something though, and I'll probably give this a shot.

Reverend on Aug 18, 2008


Alex your a bad person and should be locked up for life 😛

Kail on Aug 18, 2008


Marketing! Marketing! Marketing! I'm not a bit surprised! 🙂

Pickle on Aug 18, 2008


This movie is still on my radar! Being a fan of Punisher: War Zone since the mid 80's it's good to see something that fits the Punisher. As for missing Thomas Jane. Whatever. He was a garbage rendition of Frank Castle anyway. He was just a muscled up model pretending to be a tough guy. Good riddens. Besides when that version came out Jane said in an interview that he wouldn't do a sequel becuase he didn't want to go through the training again. Besides, who wants to see the punicher get beat up by a guy in a gay red and white sailor's outfit.......seriously? This guy is gonna make a kick ass Punisher!!! oh yeah, bring back Dolph Lundgren too!!!

Kilo on Aug 18, 2008


@Buttons, Thomas Jane wanted more than anything to do this movie and to do it well but he did not feel like the script did justice to the character and that's why he dropped out. If Lions Gate wants a shitty Punisher movie made (which is what this will be) then fine with them but Jane wants no part of it. If i'm not mistaken, poor script and low budget are why Jonathan Hensleigh did not return to direct, and why John Dahl (who was in talks to direct after Hensligh dropped out) also decided not to get involved in the movie. His exact words via Ain't It Cool News: @13 "stop bitching about it" implies that there are people who are ACTUALLY bitching about "it" when, in fact, what you have are two fans who are basically saying "too bad he isn't in it." And from the way you get so riled up over something unprovoked, you're the one who fits the mold of the crazed ex with the restraining order, buddy.

Joshua on Aug 18, 2008


im glad its rated R. i watched the comic-con footage like a million times and never get tired of looking at it

Darrin on Aug 18, 2008


That's what we get for trusting the Latino Review.

DCompose on Aug 18, 2008


i was never interested in this movie i thought the original Punisher was good and that Thomas Jane was perfect this looks like a complete crap fest that should go straight to dvd like all of Steven Seagals crap. Not seeing it!

Curits on Aug 18, 2008


thank you joshua for the link. And to add to that, i think you put #13 into his place better than i could ever do.

Buttons on Aug 18, 2008


Glad to hear this news. Was worried for a second. Still am getting tired of people still comparing this movie to the 2nd Punisher movie made which should have been called The Punished as ol Tom Jane got the crap beaten out of him more then he dished out the pain. As for the Steven Seagal comparison if you look at the comics and especially the MAX versions Frank Castle does indeed look very similar to the way they are portraying him in this movie. I will be definetely going to the movies for this and my mates and me are waiting in anticipation for it. If you don't like the movie or prefer the other ones then go sit infront of your TV and watch it and stop bagging this one out!

Jim Hill on Aug 19, 2008


I too heard the rumor of Thomas Jane copping out because the script sucked so bad. Too bad it's total bullshit. You can't have a worse Punisher script than that shitfest with John Travolta. This movie looks better than that piece of crap by a mile and a half. And you know what, I liked Thomas Jane... kind of. But this new guy looks alot more like Frank did. And the red band trailer looks fantastic; like something straight out of Garth Ennis' Punisher Max.

Marty McFly on Aug 24, 2008


Thank You Marty McFly for actually being the first person to mention MAX. For all of you saying its just going to be violence violence violence. STFU. Punisher MAX written by Garth Ennis ( The man who revolutionised the character ) is a very very dark and violent series. Also since it was said that Frank will deal a lot with his pain and so on means that the story holds true to the character.

Riot Lane on Sep 16, 2008


Jane didn't opt out of THIS script; he opted out've the one that was considered before this one. Either way, I'm happy. I like Jane as an actor. But he's no Frank Castle. Give you an example: Remember the "bad boyfriend" scene? When the guy pulls out the knife and advances towards Jane? Now think about Ennis' Castle. Would ANYONE advance towards him brandishing a knife. Please. Jane couldn't scare a kitten. Cool voice. Not much else. Oh, and the movie was absolutely terrible. Made Dolph look like Arnold. You know what the Warzone movie looks like? Looks like The Punisher. I would rather watch the Warzone trailers than the Jane movie. Except for Jigsaw... Punisher doesn't have many "enemies". They don't live long enough. Nothing corny. Just Castle, please. Peace

Bugs on Nov 21, 2008


In a follow up to 2008's The Punisher: War Zone Ray Stevenson's Punisher costume should be made from jet black foam latex with lycra nomex and kevlar in in it as well as the character's signature white skull logo on most of the chest the collar should be more like a human neck shape the suit should also have a white utility belt with pockets and pouches and white gloves and boots so it looks even more like the comic book. Lionsgate and Lexi Alexander should hire Oliver Stone and Martin Scorsesse to write the screenplay as well as Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie to write the plot.

Peter Glass on Dec 27, 2009

New comments are no longer allowed on this post.



Subscribe to our feed -or- daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main account on twitter:
For the latest posts only - follow this one:

Add our updates to your Feedly - click here

Get the latest posts sent in Telegram Telegram