Real life often impacts how movies and TV shows can and should be promoted to the public. If the content of the projects conflicts with current events, the projects are often best left out of the spotlight. The mass shooting that recently took place in Las Vegas cost the lives of many and injured even more, and the country is still reeling from the tragedy. In response to the shooting, Netflix and Marvel have wisely decided to remove The Punisher from its programming slate at the upcoming New York Comic Con.
The decision to pull The Punisher is undoubtedly a bummer for fans who were counting on seeing more of the show that has been largely kept under wraps, but the reaction from the studio is understandable. After all, the show is about a man who uses firearms on a regular basis, and the footage released so far has been heavy on the violence and gunfire. Unlike Daredevil and Iron Fist, there's nothing even slightly fanciful about Punisher. He's a man with a mission and a lot of firepower, and that's not necessarily something that needs to be in the spotlight right now.
In the joint statement from Netflix and Marvel, they state that it was after "careful consideration" that the official decision was made to pull The Punisher from programming, and their "thoughts continue to be with the victims and those affected by this tragedy." The companies are clearly taking current events into consideration, and it was a big decision to pull The Punisher, as it is one of the most highly-anticipated projects to come out of Netflix and Marvel TV to date. New York Comic Con would have generated a lot of buzz and exposure; kudos to Netflix and Marvel for showing tact and respect in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting.
The Punisher isn't the only project that has had its promotion altered in the aftermath of the Las Vegas tragedy. The upcoming film Marshall decided to cancel its entire premiere, which was shortly followed by the announcement that Blade Runner 2049 would forego its scheduled red carpet event. The Punisher wasn't the first to change its plans, and it may not be the last.
Given that Netflix has actually not announced an exact premiere date for The Punisher, I have to wonder if it will be pushed back from when it was internally slated for debut. We've only had it confirmed that Season 1 will premiere at some point in 2017, although one estimate pitched a November release based on the comments of a director. It's not out of the realm of possibility that The Punisher won't debut until closer to the end of 2017 or even early 2018. We'll have to wait and see.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in superhero news, and swing by our 2017 Netflix premiere schedule for the streaming dates that have been announced so far.