If you’ve been jonesing for a new Punisher tale, a team of fan filmmakers have been working hard to fill the niche — but now it seems Marvel wants to make sure the project never sees the light of day.
Director Mike Pecci has been working for much of the year on The Dead Can’t Be Distracted, a fan film based on Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto's acclaimed run of the Punisher comic. That is, until Marvel hit him with a cease and desist letter — noting that the project likely constitutes a trademark violation.
Here’s Pecci’s statement on the status of the film:
“According to Marvel it would ‘confuse the audience’ into believing that it's an official Marvel production. At first, I was flattered that the quality of our work might even compare to the millions they spend on production and advertising, but then the reality of it all set in. Marvel legal was demanding that I don’t release the film! Since when does Marvel go after fan films? Wasn’t there a recent and heavily promoted Punisher fan film with Thomas Jane? What could I do about this?
What would you do when staring at a letter from one of the biggest, wealthiest companies in the movie business? They can put me out of business with the snap of their fingers. Do I have a beef with Marvel? Absolutely not. I think they have become so huge and that my film is lost in the belly of the corporate beast. I want the right people at Marvel to see this film, to rescue our film, and to hopefully be inspired by my love for this character. … Write to Marvel. Tell them that you want to see this film. Tell them you want to see our Punisher on the small screen.”
You’ve got to love Pecci’s passion, and it’s a shame to think his film could die on a hard drive somewhere. Of course, it makes sense that Marvel — which is owned by the insanely huge Disney—would target anything that could threaten its intellectual property. But, c’mon, it’s just a fan film.
In the meantime, it sounds like he plans to fight the good fight as politely as possible, and hope that Marvel caves under the pressure of being perceived as an evil Goliath.
Check out the teaser trailer for the Punisher fan film below and let us know what you think: