Steven S. DeKnight is no stranger to working on shows or movies with violent content.
DeKnight is best known for his work on shows like Spartacus and Marvel’s Daredevil, but his next project is the anticipated sequel to Pacific Rim, Pacific Rim Uprising. DeKnight told Polygon in an interview during New York Comic Con that working on Daredevil and Spartacus helped him prepare for tackling Pacific Rim Uprising, especially in knowing how to strike the balance between action and violence.
In the lead-up to Netflix’s other Marvel series, The Punisher, whose New York Comic Con appearance was canceled because of the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, DeKnight told us that he’s been thinking even more about how important that balancing act is.
“Daredevil is a perfect example,” DeKnight said. “We have a main character who doesn’t use guns. He refuses to and he has a very strict code on it, which is interesting to explore. In Pacific Rim Uprising, what I really wanted to get across is that we’re living in a world where things are pretty dicey. I wanted to stress that people from different cultures and different backgrounds [are] coming together and working together.
“The idea was to use fighting in the movie to tell a story about unity and coming together, learning exactly how not to fight each other, which I think is so important right now.”
The conversation around the epidemic of gun violence in America and The Punisher has been ongoing for awhile, picking up steam whenever a new trailer drops. The Punisher is a series about a man who goes on a violent warpath to seek revenge against those who harmed the people he loved. When footage of the show premiered at San Diego Comic-Con this past summer, reporters were quick to point out just how violent the show seemed to be, even by today’s standards.
DeKnight understands how to work with violence and incorporate it into a show. Like with Daredevil and Pacific Rim Uprising, DeKnight said the way to handle Punisher is to know when, where and how to draw the line between violence and storytelling.
“You always have to balance the art and what the story requires, knowing what’s needed to help explain what’s going on,” DeKnight said. “It’s something that we all think about, absolutely.”
Pacific Rim Uprising, which marks DeKnight’s first time directing a feature film, will be released on March 23, 2018. The Punisher does not have a premiere date at this time.