Let’s face it: “Daredevil” is one of the more violent shows on the small screen as it is, and certainly the most graphic production Marvel has been involved with to date. All through the lead up to the show’s debut this past spring, showrunner Steven S. DeKnight made it clear that the show would go to the edge of adult fare but would never tip over, remarking that the series operates under “PG-16” guidelines. And if fans excited by Jon Bernthal signing up to play the Punisher are expecting the mayhem on “Daredevil” to get pushed a little further, they should curb their expectations just a bit.
Asked by Slashfilm if this new iteration of the Punisher will match the carnage in 2008’s “Punisher: War Zone,” DeKnight gave an honest, forthright reply.
“Doubtful, that was pretty violent,” he said. “The first season of ‘Daredevil’ was violent, but I always say it was more implied. It wasn’t nearly as violent as ‘The Walking Dead,’ a show that I love. On that, if somebody were to crush somebody’s head in a car door, you would’ve seen the head crush on screen, but we didn’t want to go quite that far. We wanted to keep it right around PG-16 and not go all the way to the R. I have no idea if they’re planning to push it that far next season, but I would be surprised.”
And that makes sense. To make such a tonal shift in a show would be a creative gamble, and more violence in no way equates to better characterization. Smart filmmaking will make the Punisher’s brutality more than evident without having to resort to blood and guts, which is sometimes just an easy out.
Thoughts? Does “Daredevil” need to go harder? Let us know below.