Ray Stevenson Could Play The Punisher Again

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 7:06 am,

ray stevenson punisher Ray Stevenson Could Play The Punisher Again
Poor Frank Castle. Hollywood hasn’t had much luck when it comes to translating Marvel’s iconic antihero The Punisher to the big screen. The 1989 version that starred Dolph Lundgren borrowed the name and not much else. The 2004 adaptation featuring Thomas Jane also made a few bizarre deviations from the source material – including the story’s setting and characterization of Castle.

The 2008 film Punisher: War Zone came the closest to nailing the spirit of the comics (particularly the popular PunisherMAX series), but even that film wound up falling short of expectations. On the surface, it might appear that The Punisher is a property that just doesn’t work as a feature film – but fans know the real issue is that there has yet to be an accurate depiction of the mythology.

Despite its faults, one aspect that many would agree War Zone got right was the casting of Ray Stevenson in the lead role. I know Jane still has his supporters, but I felt that Stevenson delivered a far more imposing and tragic interpretation of Castle. Although the future of The Punisher franchise is currently unknown, I would like to see Stevenson receive the opportunity to play the part in a more straightforward adaptation.

According to Cinema Blend, there’s still a chance that could happen. They recently sat down with Stevenson to discuss his new film Kill the Irishman and he mentioned that he’s spoken with Marvel about taking another shot at The Punisher. The studio recently reacquired the rights to the property from Lionsgate and that’s definitely a step in the right direction. At least we know that any future incarnations  would be developed on their terms.

However, Stevenson admits that the final decision is ultimately out of his hands. He does have a great relationship with Marvel, though – and that’s certainly not going to hurt his odds. He plays one of The Warriors Three in Thor and even provided the voice of The Punisher in The Super Hero Squad Show.

Even though I wasn’t too fond of Thomas Jane in the role, I thought his take on what would make a perfect Punisher movie was spot-on. Hopefully another film is still in the cards, but there were also rumors a few months ago that Marvel was considering a Punisher TV show. Regardless of which direction they go, Stevenson still has my vote.

My main issue with War Zone was that the villains seemed to exist in an entirely different movie than everyone else. The violence was obviously over-the-top, but Stevenson and most of the supporting cast were suitably grounded. Yet, whenever Jigsaw (Dominic West)  showed up, I started having flashbacks to Tommy Lee Jones’ hammy performance as Two-Face in Batman Forever.

The Punisher doesn’t seem like a particularly difficult code to crack. Hopefully fans will see a sincere telling of Frank Castle’s story sooner, rather than later.

Source: Cinema Blend

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  1. hmmmm

  2. Replying to several posts: I’m not blaming Stevenson for the box-office collapse of War Zone. My point is: regardless of the cause(s) of the film’s failure, he is probably “tainted” in the eyes of the Hollywood decision makers as far as any future involvement in any iteration of the Punisher. I would be shocked if it turns out otherwise.

    The movie’s poor ticket-selling performance would certainly have been improved with wider big-screen distribution, but at only a $10 million take in the states and wherever else it turned up, that is still abysmal earnings by any measure. (I’m also wondering if it went “straight-to-DVD” in some markets because after its USA record the powers-that-be-decided to cut their losses).

    “Read the da*m” comics”? Respectfully, I’m well familiar with Frank Castle. I own the original Spider-Man comic book in which the Punisher makes his debut.

    The fight with the Russian was “funny” and “amusing” because of what was happening in the apt. across the way while Castle was getting pummelled; and some of his reactions (way he looked at his demolished hand gun) were amusing not because his character was trying to be silly, but because the situation looked so hopeless. The last thing the first Punisher movie was was light, frivilous or goofy. That particular scene very skillfully combined some exciting hand-to-hand combat with a bit of humor. Not out of place, imho, in a Punisher movie if used sparingly.

    • agreed. The movie had a much darker tone in essence, which to me more symbolized the punisher mythos. Jane’s depiction from his somber tone to his physical transformation for the role made for a great movie. Much more entertaining then wz.

  3. i loved Stevenson’s portrayal of the Punisher; give him another shot at the character but with a good script this time.

    Make this happen Hollywood!!!! Please!!

  4. Rather than reboot a crappy movie because it was crap and end up making just another terrible movie – how bout we take the time to get it right the first time.

  5. Stevenson looked the part but PWZ was just terrible movie through and through (well the two action set pieces were pretty good). The 2004 Punisher for all its faults at least had good to great performances from the actors. The only performances I can say that were good in PWZ were Stevenson and Wayne Knight.

    But like I mentioned Stevenson was like the only highlight in his movie, so if he comes back, I wouldn’t be bothered by it. Though I gotta say I’d like to see Jane get another shot.

  6. It’s not fair Thomas Jane never got to put his fist through anyone’s face

  7. I still liked Janes’s Punisher film. The direction Jane was takin it was intended to make it more realistic from what i read. Easy to believe after seeing Punisher Warzone. I agree about the comment of Jigsaw being compared to Tommy Lee Jones’s Two-Face. That was one of the things i didn’t like in the film. I felt the villains in Jane’s film more ruthless while Stevenson’s Punisher seemed like he never broke a sweat or got scratched when killing anyone. I liked both Jane’s & Stevenson’s Punishers the same. I only liked Jane’s film more.

  8. i have a suggestion for the next punisher movie…get stallone to direct it, ala original rambo. take a few seconds to think about that original rambo movie, the pace, the intensity, the not just the body count but how he did it. it doesn’t need to be over the top, it needs to be intelligent, violent, and it needs to be fun. i think we’re well past campy movies at this point…frank castle needs to be a one man army, and who really understands the one person against all odds better than stallone? i think he could really pull off something amazing. even tho the expendables wasn’t a great movie, it was satisfying…anyone else in favor?

    • Not to nitpick but wasn’t the body count of the first Rambo movie Zero? Or are you referring to Rambo:First Blood part 2?
      But I do like your one man army idea.

  9. Okay I agree Stevenson looked the part and Jane had the more realistic movie. That said they should definitely bring Stevenson back for the reboot. Also they should have it be about him taking out a cartel some where down south of the border.

    But I’m going to go ahead and call it right now and say Jon Hamm will be the new Punisher. Anyone willing to bet otherwise

  10. haha…just realized a whole paragraph i typed out didn’t post…i meant to add its possible to have a great movie, without overdoing the blood and guts and a hard R is always a studio’s worst nightmare cause it limits who pays for tickets. punisher can still be a bad ass tough guy, they just don’t have to throw blood on every wall. that was my point, there really wasn’t a body count, but no one doubted rambo was a bad ass…punisher should def kill some people on screen, but it need not be the driving force of the movie. how does one man take on an army? not by having a standoff, but by being smart, cunning, and by planning. i just want my punisher to be more than a grunt with a lot of ammo and guns. he should be feared cause he’s 10 steps ahead of you, can kick your butt in a fight, and if he wanted to, strike fear into your suit wearing henchmen just by walking into a room.

    look at it this way, in the comics, punisher has gone toe to toe with captain america, wolverine, and spider-man. would ANY of the movie incarnations stand a chance against the movie versions of those hero’s? no chance. punisher as a one man army, someone who APPEARS like the whole expendable’s team is working with him is something i would def pay to see. at this point i care less about who plays punisher than who is the driving force of punisher…

  11. I’d love to see a quick Punisher cameo in the Avengers movie, even just a quick shot of Castle shooting a Skrull or something…..

  12. I only saw the Jane version, and it took me a couple years to get around to it. It was one of those movies I thought “ugg this is going to be incredibly stupid” but I was bored and couldnt find anything else to watch.

    To my surprise, I liked his character if not the overall movie. Ive never read a Punisher comic. I just liked that he was interesting to watch and he didnt come off as the typical “good guy vigilante doing bad things” for some reason. Maybe it was his anguish, I dont really know.

  13. I think the problem with both movies were the badguys , they were both horrible in both movies, I hated that Janes’s took place in Tampa, I hated the over the top non sense of Warzone, Stevenson’ supporting cast as far a micro was much better then Jane’s neighbors, Both movies used parts of ther respective books well for some parts , not so well for others. i would call them a draw as far as which was a better movie.

    if they were to do another Punisher , I would say do it like RAW DEAL, keep it serious, tighten up the story have Ben Affleck Direct it and keep the tone similar to the Town with amped up violence and we might have a comic book movie worthy of awards. if any Marvel or Dc character would be perfect for this kinda treatment it would be the Punisher

    what they also need to understand is that the more realistic it is the scarier it will be, they really dont need the over the top mortal kombat kills, for instance the hand through the head , come on he isnt super powered, Give Castle his origin but dont show it unless its through a flash back and he should plash back several times through out the movie cause of what it means to him this is his motivation, He does it all because of them. They should absolutely give him that Taxi driver style film , lets have Marvel receive its first Academy award for the punisher, his character would be best suited for a serious crime drama

  14. Why The Punisher doesnt do well at the box office I dont know but, I dont think he belongs in the superhero universe. He is just Dirty Harry or Rambo or Paul Kersey or any number of Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal characters in a cool comic book\superhero outfit. That might have something to do with it. We’ve been getting those movies for decades.

  15. I love Jane’s Punisher. Mainly because I use his work out plan as my work out plan. It’s a great work out. I liked the story of Jane’s Punisher. He had a purpose and wasn’t careless. I felt that Stevenson’s Punisher was all over the place and careless, especially with the killing of a Federal Agent. I think that was intended due to how long he had been the Punisher. I had hoped that they were picking up where Jane left off; however, I didn’t have a problem with a differnt origin story.

    My issue with War Zone was the careless violence. I’ve always thought that the Punisher was more sophisticated and instead of just random killing.

    I need to watch War Zone again but it’s hard for me to because the violence came off as senseless and without purpose. Perhaps it was because there was no reason given other than that they we’re bad.

    • @ Joe K

      I pretty much agree with ya. I mean Jane’s Punisher even got injured, last time i remember watching Warzone, Stevenson’s Punisher didn’t seem to get really roughed up. probly because of that body armor he had on. I thought id like the idea of Jigsaw in the movie, but the way he wasm was too much like someone else said compared to Tommy Lee Jones’s Two-Face. The villains in Jane’s Punisher were all serious & the film itself was too realistic. Imo Jane looked like Frank Castle, maybe not as much as Ray Stevenson but still looked the role. I thought Warzone was all about action really,maybe i need to watch it again. I know i still like Jane’s Punisher film more.

  16. I thought some elements of Warzone was done properly. I like the no mercy take he had on the villians. Still, it had a lot of bad elements as well. Some of the acting, the bad accents, and dialogue.

    To me Punisher is always been an vigilante, where his motivations are warranted and understandable but his methods are unacceptable(legally).

    You just can not go around killing people, even if they are guilty for the most horrific things. In America we have a justice system in place for that.

    I like the darker tone Punisher oppose to lighter tone character, just because what the Punisher represents, vengeance with killing justice.

  17. Let Thomas Jane finish what he started.

    • What, make the Punisher look like a person that spends more time fixing cars and planning things than killing people? Sounds like a plan…

  18. I really don’t know what the debate is. Stevenson hands down was the better Punisher. Jane damn near made a comedic act out of the character, which really irked my nerves. Stevenson has the look, the voice and overall way more intimidating. When I see Thomas Jane as Punisher, it’s like “Oh hey Thomas Jane is the Punisher”. When I see Ray Stevenson I’m like ” Holy Hell its The Punisher ” lol 100% hope he reprises the roll.

  19. Mark wahlburg should play the punisher, and Tarantino should write and direct it

  20. What they should do is make three movies, the first would be The Punisher max: BORN and then the 2 second would be In the Beginning ( the first 1-6 issues ) then the third could be another good story from the max series. Make the movies so it stays believable and realistic and most importantly not RUSHED.