The Last of Us Part II's game director Neil Druckmann recently shared a wish list of established IPs he'd like to create games for with Marvel's Punisher coming in at the No. 1 spot. Along with the Punisher, another Marvel property appeared in the list with Ghost Rider showing up as well. The ideas shared were only wants and shouldn't be taken as an indication of what's to come though, so don't get your hopes up for a new Punisher game to be announced anytime soon.
Prompted by Kinda Funny's Greg Miller, Druckmann responded to a question asking about existing IPs the game director would want to work on. Heading up the list was Punisher followed by Valve's Half-Life, then Ghost Rider, then Hotline Miami with Cowboy Bebop rounding out the end of the list.
2) Half Life
3) Ghost Rider
4) Hotline Miami
5) Cowboy Bebop
Those come to mind... 🤷🏻♂️— Dr. Uckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) January 18, 2021
A list with so many high-profile properties like this one was inevitably met with support, suggestions, and more questions from fans. Druckmann followed up with a few of these responses to say things like how he'd be open to creating a Princess Mononoke game or an open-world Kiki's Delivery Service adaptation. On the topic of Ghost Rider, he said his theoretical game would feature the Danny Ketch version of the Marvel character with Blackout as the main villain.
Based on what we've seen from Naughty Dog's The Last of Us franchise – and particularly what was seen in The Last of Us Part II – the studio already seems like it'd be primed to handle a Punisher game better than most. The Last of Us Part II's story was a visceral one with brutal moments to match which are two key components one might hope for in a modern Punisher game. The same goes with Ghost Rider in a lesser, more supernatural way. These suggestions are all just purely wish lists at the moment though, but it's thought-provoking to imagine what these games would look like under the direction of Druckmann.
It's also been a while since we've gotten a new Punisher game which hasn't gone unnoticed by the antihero's fans. Back in 2019, we spoke to Jon Bernthal, the lead from Netflix's The Punisher, about whether or not he'd be down to return for the role seeing how so many TV and movie actors are being cast in games. Bernthal said it's not about whether such a game happens or not but is more about "whether we'd do it right."