The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

PUNISHER IN TAMPA
first stop: ybor
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I read this. The Punisher, another in a line of Marvel Comics characters slated for major motion picture treatment (to be released, as of the current schedule, next year), will be set and shot in Tampa, Florida.

Why do I care? I live in St. Petersburg, Florida--right across the Bay from Tampa. As the article intimates, there's not a whole lot of extensive movie production in this area. So it's something notable.

Like I say, I was floored by this news. I mean, of all places for a Punisher movie--Tampa?? Even though the Punisher's storyline has changed a bit over the decades, a central core has been that it's taken place in the gritty urban jungle of New York. Tampa does not resemble New York--not even a little bit. Don't get me wrong, my adopted home area has it's own charms, and a little bit of urban panache to it, but it's not the place I'd pick for urban drama. Heck, I'd take Miami over Tampa for that.

The hook here, of course, is that the co-writer of the script lives in the area (St. Pete Beach). Talk about hometown dedication!

I was never a big fan of the Punisher character, and couldn't really understand why his popularity mushroomed so much starting in the mid-80s. He seemed way too one-dimensional for me. Given this, I can't say I'm looking forward to the movie. In light of this news, I might--only might--be tempted to catch it just to see how the locales show up on screen.

And hey, at least this new production will supplant that terrible Dolph Lundgren version.

Update: John Travolta has signed on to play the villian. Yikes! I hope there won't be any undue Scientological overtones as a result. The world doesn't need another Battlefield Earth.