Last year, Fox canceled "Human Target," a series loosely inspired by the DC comic book series of the same name. And although the network recently put "The Spectre" into development, Fox may be looking at the Marvel Universe for its next comic inspired show.
According to Deadline, Fox has given "The Punisher" a pilot commitment with "Criminal Minds" showrunner Ed Benero set to adapt the franchise into a weekly one hour drama.
The Punisher was originally created by Gerry Conway, John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru as an antagonist for Spider-Man before landing a starring role in a Punisher miniseries by Steven Grant and artist Mike Zeck that re-envisioned the character as a leading man. As originally conceived, Frank Castle was a former Marine who witnessed the brutal murders of his family to random mob violence before taking up the mantle of the Punisher to get his revenge on all criminals.
Marvel has previously tried to make "The Punisher" work on the big screen in three feature films, most recently in 2004 with Thomas Jane in the title role and in 2008 with Ray Stevenson. However, all three films were considered box office disappointments, with 2008's "Punisher: War Zone" ranking as the lowest grossing Marvel Studios film.
An early description of the new potential series suggests that both Marvel and Fox haven't learned their lesson about tinkering with the Punisher. In this incarnation, Frank Castle will be a "rising star detective" in the New York Police Department who moonlights as the Punisher to hunt down those beyond the reach of the law. There's actually a series very close to that premise already on TV… and it's called "Dexter."
Regardless, getting "The Punisher" on Fox would be a major coup for Marvel's TV division; which is also developing "Hulk" and "A.K.A. Jessica Jones" for ABC as well as "Mocking Bird" and "Cloak & Dagger" for ABC Family. ABC Studios is also producing the potential "Punisher" series; which would likely debut in Fall 2012 if it goes forward.
What are your thoughts on a "Punisher" TV series? Who should Marvel cast as The Punisher this time? Take aim and let us know what you're thinking in the comment section below!