Marvel has canceled The Punisher‘s New York Comic-Con panel in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting. So does that mean that the premiere of the show itself is also going to be delayed?
According to Newsday reporter Verne Gay, Marvel will indeed delay the premiere of The Punisher until later in the fall, although this is not something that has been announced.
— vernejgay (@vernejgay) October 5, 2017
Granted, nobody actually knows when The Punisher was supposed to premiere on Netflix, but the rumor was that it was going to go online on Oct. 7, right after the Comic-Con panel. If that was the plan, that clearly won’t happen anymore, as it doesn’t make sense to cancel the Comic-Con panel but still air the show. Netflix decided to cancel the panel because the show features a lot of violence and shooting, specifically involving automatic weapons, and the panel would be coming less than one week after the horrific Las Vegas massacre.
The other rumor about the premiere date was that it was going to come on Oct. 13. This came from Total Film magazine, which reported in its November issue that this was The Punisher‘s release date, although Netflix never actually confirmed that and this date was never mentioned by another source. If that was the planned premiere, it still makes sense for Netflix to delay it . That would only be 11 days after the deadliest mass shooting in American history, and in the past, real-life tragedies have generally affected movie and TV releases for far longer than 11 days.
For example, back in 2016, USA was scheduled to premiere their new show Shooter on July 19. But 13 days earlier, on July 6, a man shot and killed five police officers and injured nine more in Dallas, and so USA decided to delay the Shooter premiere until July 26. Going further back, in 2013, NBC delayed an episode of Hannibal that was scheduled to air 10 days after the Boston Marathon bombing because it involved violence and children; the network considered it to be too soon after the tragedy.
We may actually never know whether Netflix decides to delay The Punisher. They still have not officially revealed the release date, and so they don’t really need to announce that they’ve delayed something that they never set in stone in the first place. But fans certainly shouldn’t expect to see the show drop on Netflix this weekend anymore, and based on television history, they probably shouldn’t expect it next week, either.
So if Netflix does delay The Punisher, when might the new premiere be? It certainly won’t be Oct. 27, as that’s when Stranger Things Season 2 releases. It could be Oct. 20, but that may or may not still be too soon after the Las Vegas tragedy, in which case a Nov. 3 or Nov. 10 release date would be more likely.