With “Punisher: War Zone” due out in theaters this Friday, director Lexi Alexander has been making the PR rounds when someone finally got around to asking her the question we’ve all been talking about: What was the diddly yo about her going all Alan Smithee on the movie? Props to the guys from Sci Fi Wire, who actually asked the question when I don’t think anyone else in the ass kissing world of entertainment *cough*journalism*cough* has even bothered to approach it, probably for fear that they’ll lose their press junket pass for good, and you know how good those press junket food are. Well, I don’t know, cause I’ve never been on one, but I assume there are some advantages to being flown out to watch screenings and chat with the stars and what have you.
Anyways, here’s what Alexander said in response to Sci Fi Wire‘s question regarding the whole brouhaha behind the scenes of “Punisher: War Zone”:
SFW: What is the true story about your possibly removing your name from the film?
Alexander: Oh, I wasn’t, no. No, no, I never was going to take my name off the film. Let me say this. Harry Knowles [of Ain’t It Cool News] is one of the greatest people I know. He’s a great supporter of mine. I’m his biggest fan, not because he supports filmmakers, [but] because I think he fights for film. Sometimes he nails the filmmaker if they f–k up, like he did with M. Night [Shyamalan], and sometimes he nails the studio. I think in this case, what happened is when the first trailers came out, I think he knew and he’s been told there was kind of trouble. So he wrote, “F–k, they should have just let her do it, and she was pushed aside.” [That is] true. He did write the right thing, and he stood up for me and for this film. I think that each Internet site that took it on brought it to a new level. By the time it landed in Germany, my mother saw it and thought I was fired, tarred and feathered out of the country. [What Knowles wrote] really is the correct thing. I was never fired, and I never wanted to take my name off.
SFW: When you said you pushed your ideas on the studio, what were those ideas you meant?
Alexander: Well, between the look of it and the comedy of it and the violence, it’s a very distinctive voice. Not everybody goes with that kind of voice from a young filmmaker. I did get tapped on the shoulder [and asked], “What the hell are you thinking?” Some of it I pushed more. Some battles I lost. When I talked these actors into joining me, when they all passed one after another, I said, “OK, no, this will not be Punisher 2. This will be something very special, and here’s how it’s going to be special.” I make very sure that I deliver that. Imagine [if] I would have to sit next to Ray during a press conference, and it’s a s–t movie. He would sit there going, “I hate her for f–king talking me into this.” To be honest, I’d rather have him as a friend than anybody else out there I had to battle.
Translation: “Yeah, it sucked, and I ain’t coming back for no damn sequel, but since they’re paying me a mint I gotta go out and pretend like it was no big deal and play the game. By the way, do you like the movie’s pretty colors?”
In other news that has been floated in the blogosphere, Lexi Alexander, while reiterating that she has no plans to return for a third Punisher movie (should one be greenlit — the box office numbers of “War Zone” will determine that), did mention that Ray Stevenson would make a good director for the next one.
“Punisher: War Zone” opens this Friday, December 5th. Let the bloodbath begin! (Let’s hope it’s all in the movie and not at the box office…)
Below: Yes, Frank Castle is a killing machine, and a very effective one at that, but what he really wants to do is direct.