The good news is that I am writing.Â The bad news is that most of it isn’t for Script Frenzy.
See, I had this idea.Â I was going to take a graphic novel and write a screenplay out of it.Â Its actually coming along quite well, but a lot more slowly than I had hoped.Â Ultimately, since the graphic novel is from the early 80’s there is actually very little dialogue that I can steal directly from the text.Â Did people actually talk like that?Â Did people actually think street thugs and criminals talked like that?Â Wow…Â Anyway, there are also plot elements I can’t use, either because they don’t make sense, or because they can’t be made to make sense in 120 pages or less, or… well…
Oh hell, its not like I need to be secretive… the graphic novel I am working on taking to screenplay is The Punisher: Circle of Blood.Â In my opinion, taking the Punisher to screen should be done in three parts: An origin story, then Circle of Blood, and then Suicide Run.Â The reasons for this are simple.Â The origin story, or at least one set near the beginning of his career sets up the character and puts him on the road of killing bad guys.Â Circle of Blood involves Frank dealing with the consequences of his actions.Â Suicide Run puts Frank in a place where he has to seriously consider whether he’s actually helping anymore.
The 1989 Dolph Lundgren film was a travesty.Â The 2004 Thomas Jane film actually told the origin well, but it changed the origin a lot and the villain was lame.Â The 2008 Ray Stevenson film actually got Frank as close to right as I think they could, but then they ruined the film with a terrible misuse of Jigsaw, horrible accents and dumb ultra-violence.Â However, when it came to approaching my take on Circle of Blood, I didn’t want to be stuck with the legacy of these films, and yet I also didn’t want to ignore them.Â The first scene in my script doesn’t exist in the book.Â My version opens in a courtroom where the DA is laying out his closing arguments against Frank Castle, the Punisher.Â Its important because this DA’s monologue touches on the idea that legend and rumor are a factor, and it is the job of police detectives to sift through that to the truth.Â This opens the door to allowing the audience to feel like maybe they haven’t seen 100% of the truth so far.Â That maybe the other three films were just versions of the truth, stories told and retold, much of the details being filled in by the tellers since real witnesses are few and far between.Â It even opens the film up to allow a fourth actor into the role of Frank if that is something that has to happen.
The next major hurdle for me was in trying to decide if I needed Jigsaw.Â Circle of Blood makes use of that character, but the makers of the 2008 film saw fit to kill him off.Â So now I am managing two versions of the script going forward.Â One is Circle of Blood without Jigsaw, which just seems a little off, and the other is Circle of Blood with Jigsaw’s introductory scene including a jab at the previous film as Frank says, “I thought you were dead” and Jigsaw replies (without a lame cartoony New York accent), “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” alluding back to the courthouse scene as well as setting Jigsaw up to be more than the semi-brainless thug of the 2008 movie by actually having him quote Mark Twain.Â I really like the second version, but I’m not sure other people will be so ready to buy it.
The last hurdle is in taking some of the extraordinarily fantastic action of the comic and trying to ground it more firmly in reality without losing the spectacle of it.
All of this, as I said, has been tougher than I first imagined, mostly because it had been years since I’d actually read Circle of Blood and I didn’t realize how much of it I wasn’t going to be able to just take from the page.Â Due to this, I’ve found myself wandering off and writing other things while I ponder decisions.Â I’m afraid I won’t make 100 pages by the end of the month, but this has been a good experience none the less, and I plan to try to finish this screenplay even if I miss the deadline.