The Punisher premiere date pushed back; secret launch was planned

Punisher premiere dateFor those looking for The Punisher premiere date on Netflix, there isn’t one; what may be a surprise is that the show almost was set to launch this weekend.

According to a report from Newsday, the streaming service was looking to launch the new series starring Jon Bernthal as early as Saturday, looking to give The Punisher a surprise rollout much in the way that many music artists are doing now with new albums. If you drop the full season you may in turn be able to generate all sorts of interesting social-media buzz, and this is clearly what the network was looking for here.

However, in the end this plan just didn’t work out, and it’s for very understandable reasons following the senseless tragedy in Las Vegas at the start of this month. While The Punisher may be fiction, it’s still an incredibly violent series where gun violence is at the center of almost everything. There was another show in USA’s Shooter that faced delays prior to the start of its first season following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

The news about the secret rollout being postponed for now comes after Netflix and Marvel released a statement confirming that the show would be pulling out of New York Comic-Con this weekend:

“We are stunned and saddened by this week’s senseless act in Las Vegas. After careful consideration, Netflix and Marvel have decided it wouldn’t be appropriate for Marvel’s The Punisher to participate in New York Comic-Con. Our thoughts continue to be with the victims and those affected by this tragedy.”

Ultimately we are in a culture where there are so many shootings — especially at the rate in which they are happening — and while many can separate the fiction of shows like The Punisher from reality, there is something to be said for holding back a launch like this as a sign of respect for what just happened. We do live on a culture where something like what happens within Frank Castle’s world feels very much possible. It’s therefore very difficult to reconcile a program that is so violent while experiencing events in the world that are equally so. This is clearly one of the biggest struggles that Netflix is going to have launching this show almost no matter when they choose to do it.

Do we blame them for picking up The Punisher in the first place? Far from it, given that we are still speaking here about one of the most popular comic-book properties out there. It’s just unfortunately a show that has to be very aware of timing and the consciousness of society before its episodes are available for consumption.

What do you think about Netflix’s decision to hold back?

Let us know some of your thoughts on that subject below! Meanwhile, take a look at this link if you haven’t seen the first teaser for The Punisher and want to.

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