In the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy earlier this week, Marvel and Netflix have reportedly chosen to delay the premiere of their upcoming Punisher series.
According to Newsday, the companies planned to surprise fans by making the series immediately available on the streaming platform during their New York Comic Con panel on October 7th. The event was canceled yesterday, but the site claims the plan was to “mimic a strategy now frequently deployed by the music industry: The surprise album ‘drop,’ when albums from major stars (most recently including Drake, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna and Radiohead) arrive with little or no fanfare.”
Of course, Netflix was drumming up some fanfare with semi-regular teasers and Twitter posts highlighting the series’ “redacted” premiere date. Since early September, rumors suggested The Punisher might buck the trend of highly publicized release dates and debut in a sudden fashion. Some even suggested the series would debut last month, but this proved not to be the case.
And now, it seems, the series will be delayed.
That is probably the wisest decision Marvel and Netflix could make as the Punisher’s methods and reliance on automatic weapons hew just a little too closely to the actions of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. In a joint statement released yesterday, both companies said “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.” A surprise release this weekend would’ve been equally inappropriate.
The Punisher is still expected sometime later this year.