Last week rumors that there were major problems on the “Punisher: War Zone” set, which included the booting of director Lexi Alexander from the movie, made the rounds, and seemed to have been confirmed by the absence of Alexander at Comic Con. Alexander herself seemed to have all but confirmed the news by removing all mention of the Punisher from her website. Basically, all signs pointed to the rumor being true. Then, earlier this week, CHUD wrote an article claiming that the whole hullabaloo was in fact a marketing ploy to generate publicity for the movie. Not a whole lot of people picked up the article, mostly because, well, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
But first, let’s start with CHUD‘s article:
With Punisher: War Zone, all of the signs point to a worst-case scenario: behind the scenes infighting, recuts, honeymoons, studio spin and the like. All the dust kicked up at Comic-Con has got everybody in a tizzy, but a few days ago I had a chance to speak to someone very close to the film, and that contact assured me – without knowing I’m in the position I am to disseminate this kind of information – that most of the drama is a bunch of hooey. Hype. Hullabaloo drummed up to generate more interest in the film. Lexi Alexander is still the director and the cut will be locked in a couple weeks.
I like the boys at CHUD, they run a real tight shift over there, and they’re probably the only guys in this movie blogging game that makes me laugh. (Everyone is just so damn serious; guys, get those sticks out of your ass!) But I can’t buy this “it’s all just a marketing gimmick” idea they’re floating.
Are you serious? Piss off what little fanbase the Punisher movies still have by coming up some ridiculous story about how the director has been kicked of the project, and now they’re recutting it without her say? And the director is going along with this blatant betrayal of the fans?
You know what, if this turns out to be true, it’s just going to piss off the fanbase even more. Yes, that’s right, Lionsgate, if this is some kind of sad, sad attempt at viral marketing, it’s going to blow up in your face, just as Chris Carter’s anal-retentive marketing of “The X-Files” movie put a nice coating of egg on his big dumb red nose.
Having said that, I still don’t believe the article. Hollywood isn’t creative enough to come up with such a clever piece of Internet manipulation. Sure, we movie bloggers are a pretty dumb lot, desperate for any piece of information on our movies, but going to this kind of length to chop off our nuts seems to be a tad, shall we say, ballsy for a movie studio. We shall see.