Thomas Jane Talks Perfect Punisher Movie

Published 6 years ago by , Updated October 8th, 2009 at 7:25 pm,

punisher header Thomas Jane Talks Perfect Punisher Movie

Thomas Jane (Hung) doesn’t think that The Punisher has gotten his due on the big screen. After portraying Frank Castle in the 2004 big screen adaptation of the Marvel character, Jane (something of a fan favorite) dropped out amidst much controversy of the 2008 (reboot? Sequel? Flop?), Punisher: War Zone.

While talking exclusively to MTV recently about his new movie, Dark Country, Thomas Jane addressed the subject of both Punisher films, what makes the character great, and what kind of film it would take for him to reprise the role of a character he seems to very much know and love almost as much.

Here are some exerts from what Jane had to say about The Punisher:

“My interest has always been based more in reality than in superhero fiction…The strengths of ‘The Punisher’ that I did lie in the reality that we were able to bring to the character, and the weaknesses of ‘The Punisher’ I did were all based on people trying to make this a ‘comic book movie’—with funny characters and goofball s–t that has no place in a ‘Punisher’ film.

‘Punisher 2′ went more in the direction of goofball comic-book world than in reality..that’s why I dropped out of ‘Punisher 2’—because I’m not going to make a ‘comic book movie.’ It’s just doing a disservice to Frank Castle.

Everyone gets it backwards…You don’t want to strengthen the idea that it’s a comic book in film, because film gives you the chance to actually bring it one step closer to reality—and that’s the direction that ‘Punisher’ wants to go in.

[‘The Dark Knight’] made $500 billion at the box office, so I felt vindicated…[that film] validates the idea that a Frank Castle movie needs to be a gritty, reality-based film.”

Now I’ve cut these quotes WAY down, and Jane has some pretty interesting things to say if you read the full transcript. Head over to MTV News for the exclusive look.

punisher thomas jane Thomas Jane Talks Perfect Punisher Movie

Jane as The Punisher

This whole “Punisher curse” really is a head-scratcher. The character is one you would think would be easy to bring to the big screen: hell, how many movies (The Brave One), TV shows (24) or video games (Max Payne) made since 1974 – when the Punisher was created – can YOU name that emulate (or at least make you think of) the character? Yet, somehow The Punisher has been unable to find a $olid foothold in any one of those forms of media I just mentioned. So why can’t the originator succeed where so many imitators do?

I don’t really have an answer for that, I’m actually asking you guys to think it over and tell me. We’ll discuss in the comments.

For now it doesn’t look like The Punisher is going to be back up on the big screen anytime soon – but if and when it does return, does it need to go in the kind of direction Thomas Jane describes? And is Jane the man for the role?

Source: MTV

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  1. Anyone ever read Welcome Back Frank? Thomas Jane was perfect for that Punisher and the 04 movie got that comic pretty spot-on, while still cutting out a lot of corny stuff I didn't like in it. Ever since I heard about the concept of the punisher (a hero who actually uses guns and kills people who deserve it) I was a fan, and I rented the 04 movie. After watching it I immediately chose it as my favorite movie. I was pretty excited about hearing about Warzone, but after watching it I realized the braincells I wasted watching it were for nothing. That was probably the worst movie I've ever seen. And Ray Stevenson was horrible. A scrawny little guy with a weird voice and no acting skills. Everything about Jane's character was perfect for me. Build (huge, again, read Welcome Back Frank), weapon choice (simple, yet effective), voice and demeanor. I'd love to see Jane try another Punisher movie, and judging by his obvious passion for the character, I think he can pull it off.

    • I think Thomas Jane should be the next Batman when ever they make the next Batman movie. He also should do another Punisher movie. very good actor. Would love to see him play Batman, he would be a perfect Batman. He is too good of a actor to just let other sorry actors get all these hero movies. We need Thomas Jane to start coming on these movies. someone should offer him these rolls.

      • Hear, hear. Tom Jane is the man. -helluva good idea to have him pick up as Bruce Wayne to boot-

  2. Couple thoughts on making a good Punisher movie:
    1. Make it more realistic like Jane described and less cartoonish like ‘War-Zone’.

    2. Make it more of a hardened, violent, action-drama similar in heaviness to a Scorsese meets Tarantino film.

    3. Integrate elements of ‘Born’ into the film as a backstory. It would be interesting at the end of the film to see if Frank is really motivated by the death of his family or if there’s something more. Kinda gives it a Taxi Driver feel.

  3. I agree with punfan honestly a lesson can be learned form this that is majority of people dont like goofy comic book stuff even in the current the punisher max comic they’re relatively real like I could see that kind of stuff happening (except frankin castle when that pissed me off really what was marvel thinking). All I want is for some one to bring The Punisher some justice because Thomas Jane was a great Punisher Stevenson was too it was just the script of that movie any one would have sucked as The Punisher in that movie.

  4. Here’s what I have to say,

    I agree with jane that if they want to make a punisher movie right they need to make it realistic, Sort of like Batman Begins & Dark Knight. What I think anyone should do with it is make it realistic as possible. Why? Because EVERYONE will love it, including critics why does this matter good ratings equals a wider audience which means more money towards the movie which means WE GET A SEQUEL!!! That’s why I honestly think it would be best to make it as realistic as possible. Also I would enjoy it more because I like the Punisher because he’s HUMAN he doesn’t have super powers or even fancy gadgets, he has willpower and a devotion to rid the streets of scum, so that’s why I would like the movie to be realistic I don’t want to see the punisher doing a quadruple backflip off a building while shooting a rocketlauncher at a truck. While that would be awesome I would rather see him take down the truck more realistically IE no quadruple backflips off a building shooting a rocket launcher.

    Now then onto who I would want to see as the Punisher. I would prefer Tom Jane as his performance had more emotion and realism, HOWEVER I wouldn’t mind if Ray Stevenson returned as one he looks like the Punisher and two it wasn’t his fault warzone sucked it was a bad script and a bad director he was just making the best of it as he could I’m sure if he had a good script and a good director he could give a good performance (go watch Rome if you don’t believe me) Remember I still PREFER Jane.

    Also this is about the villains of the Punisher universe. If you are going to put in Jigsaw do NOT make random scene where he laughs for no reason while breaking mirrors. Jigsaw has no reason to laugh he was a mob hitman who got his face torn to shreds because of the punisher if anything he should be the most pissed off person in the movie besides the Punisher, jigsaw should kill people who even look at him funny. Now in Warzone he was played by Dominic West I’m 100% sure the reason his performance sucked was because of the script/director so don’t be afraid to put him in a Punisher movie but just to be safe make him a detective or an fbi agent. There are several different villains you can put in like Barracuda who should be played by Michael clarke Duncan and if you can’t get him get Terry Crews I know terry is more of a comedy guy but he wasn’t half bad in Gamer. Another villain is Bushwacker for a realistic punisher movie just make him an Experienced mercenary/weapons expert who is hired to kill Frank Castle (punisher).
    of course there’s Ma Gnucci a mob leader who wants punisher dead you can easily put her in as well as Maginty and no not like the one from warzone the one from MAX the ruthless Irish mob leader.

    Well that’s all I got thanks for reading.

  5. The Punisher needs Jonathan Hensleigh and Michael France back firstly, now I was listening to a radio broadcast. Which had been placed on YouTube, Thomas Jane said he has ideas for a sequel in which will bring about the battle van. A simple and effective story, what they also need is to bring in a villain who is similar to Frank yet will do anything to protect his domain.

    For a villain I would like to see Hitman or Bruno Costa, although he is
    responsible for Castle family he can easily be brought in. Bruce Willis can easily portray this character, simply related to Travolta Thomas Jane was a thinking man thriller yet the sequel after watching Expendables Hensleigh and France possibly Kurt Sutter will have their work cut out.

    Marvel need to invest more money and get producers whom are willing to invest, the production company Valhalla pictures need to put more money into the sequel. The director will be Hensleigh or get a director from a well known movie, such as Precinct 13, Last Man Standing, The Shooter all of these directors can make this movie better.

    Also help the audience to comprehend who Frank Castle is, Frank was a military man, then an F.B.I agent, family man and lastly a Vigilante. The points need to be raised, show both his military training and his F.B.I training.

    Frank is a skilled combatant both armed and unarmed, the fight scenes have to be believable show various types of weaponry. The person whom I would recommend for the role of Jigsaw would be Jeffrey Dean Morgan Micro Chip Wayne Knight if not Jack Black.

    The Budget for this movie without casting should be a minimum of $50-60 Million dollars and take place in N.Y.C. This movie needs to be well written and surprise the hardcore fans, need to pay homage to the creator of the Punisher no more goofy scenes PWZ, the rpg roof top scene and frank jumping of a building and a fence good grief.

    Also give Frank Castle a motor bike a Honda or Suzuki or a Bimota, New York is a big place a customised version of each bike would be perfect another thing make the story believable how does Frank go about daily chores he can be killing very criminal, all the time how does he make money and get weaponry, the development of the body armour bring the Daily Bugle to emphasise the Marvel Universe.

    Frank is human he misses his family daily, many members of his family are dead due to Howard Saint and his wife Maria Saint. This movie will have to be darker and not make any more mistakes, keep more to the Marvel material but make them work in the real world.

    Hopefully this sequel will by-pass the $54,700,105 mark good luck Marvel you need it.

  6. Punisher war zone destroyed what could have been an awesome set of movies. It annoys me to no end how certain items that are in comic book films are never built upon by subsequent writers. It doesn’t coincide with the comics, but a perfect plot would have been for howard saints son to have survided the explosion at the club and become jigsaw…but nope some idiot writers who never read a comic decided on the crap story. No wonder why thomas jane dropped out. Although warzone was horrible, there is still a chance to make a punisher 2, and just forget about warzone. But for it to be successful, Jane needs to reprise hise role and there needs to be a convincing story. And the punisher needs to be a ruthless conspiring person like the first movie where he pitted the saints against each other, not just some idiot gunslinger.

  7. the 2004 punisher movie was truly the real punisher. it’s my favorite movie of all time and I’m a huge Punisher fan. Tom Jane was born to play that part. I also realy like the directors work on it to. But punisher war zone was pathetic. they didn’t fully understand the Punisher. when I first heard that there was going to be another Punisher movie i was so excited I couldn’t believe it. but what I didn’t know at first was that tom jane wasn’t going to be in it. even though i kind of knew that without tom jane it wouldn’t be as good as the first one. but i was still kind of excited. and when I saw it i coudn’t believe it. that thing was a piece of CRAP! there wasn’t even a good story line to it. and the directer was terible. probobly because the director was a CHICK. I mean i’m glad that women can vote and all that stuff, but come on this is man’s work. especialy since it’s Punisher. and there was way to much blood and gore. I knew there was gona be blood but that was way too much. it almost made my friend barf with all the gore. and worst of all. WAY to many f-bombs. Iknow that there were a few in the first Punisher. and that’s perfectly fine. But every time someone talked, its was f that and f this and f you. and it wasn’t even the actors that made the movie bad realy it’s the writers and director. but I still like Tom Jane better. If they make a third punisher it better not be another war zone. It beter at least have Tom Jane and the director Jonathan Hensliegh. But hey punisher still is the best marvel character and movie ever!

  8. I Dont agree with any of you, Thomas Jane was great as The Punisher but Ray Stevenson just nailed the grit and grim side of what makes Frank Castle tick as The Punisher. I think it would be cool if thomas Jane came back as The Punisher cuz we really didnt get to see him fully embrace the role of The Punisher until the last 20 minutes of the movie. My main problem with the 2004 movie was it didnt follow what The Punisher is about there was to little volience Punisher needs to be brutal and come in guns blazing. Johnathan Hensliegh was a terrible director he didnt ever read a Punisher comic until “Welcome back frank” and i think that was the only punisher comic he ever read. He also said he doesnt like voleince, then why in the hell did you want to direct a Punisher movie?
    We also as fans Know the Punishers loss of his family and we sympathize with his loss but Frank doesnt cry like a baby and drink instead he puts it behind him and goes out and kills scumbags so no one else has to live his pain or feel it. This is the reason why fans like to read his comics we like seeing Frank kill scumbags who deserve it. If Punisher was a real person O.J. Simpson would be dead already. I know people are going to be mad at me But i been reading The Punisher since i was 8 years old he’s my favorite character ever! Ray is better but I dont think we got to see Thomas Jane fully embrace the character so i would want to see him come back a realistic approach is fine but kill more bad guys next time. Also War Zone may not have had the best script but they nailed Jigsaw if you’ve read the comics you know he’s a former pretty boy for the mob the only thing they changed was he wasnt a hitman first. Howard Saint’s son would have been cool but it wouldnt have been the comic version of Jigsaw. That’s all i have to say.

    • I know what you’re sayin about jigsaw and war zone but really i think it’s more about bringing the punisher into reality. What i mean is, I love the comics and war zone was pretty faithful to them but christopher nolan will lose me if i see the boy wonder zippin around the city with batman you know? Although Marvel did somehow bring the Avengers together into reality pretty well, including a guy who turns into a giant green rage monster and a norse god. So.. I don’t know, nevermind i said anything. Although the world need a truly great punisher movie no doubt. and i think tom jane is the man for the job.

  9. Bigger budget also shoot on location in Italy now thats what many fans would like to see.

  10. Here’s what I have to say. For some crazy reason Marvel doesn’t have studio rights on the Punisher. WTF Right? I say bring it back to Marvel (seeing how their pretty much blowing up the hero movie, fantastically i might add) and put a good team at the helm. I’d like to see Robert Rodriguez in the producers chair (because I loved what he did with Predators) and as far as director wise, James Wan… I know what you’re thinkin’.. WHAT? I’m basing this on the great (mostly realistic) gore and action of the Saw movies. And the the Kevin Bacon movie Death Sentence. Seriously, I think it would work great.

    • to follow up on the gore thing, i say that because the comics dont skip on the “head explody”. But it doesn’t need to be super cartoonish like War Zone.

  11. First off I am a big punisher fan and its true what Thomas Jane said these movies aren’t really doing the character any good at all, when reading these comments I do fully agree that they should move away from the comic book feel of things and get down to the core. Every body agrees that it should be more hard core. And im trying to see this movie in my head where the passion is clearly noticed through all the chaos. But yet again if you go to like lets say “Kill Bill” or “SAW” kind of gore, then it might happen where the story gets lost and we forget why the character is doing what he is doing. So hoping for a new one and that they can find the correct balance between broken harts and exploding heads.

  12. I with you 100% on that but what I’m trying to say is that I think the guys who do Saw are very good at doing gore purely from a skill standpoint and I think they would do a good job. Meaning, I don’t want frank to shoot someone in the head with a 9mm and have their whole head turn to red paint. Also I would like to withdraw my suggestion of James Wan and replace him with Zack Snyder. He’s a bit “fantastical” but I think Zack Snyder + Robert Rodriguez + Marvel Studios = What we’ve been waiting for. But.. I definitely could be wrong. And that will probably never happen anyway.

  13. Thomas Jane is absolutely right about what the punisher film needs to be and what direction it needs to go… and yes most definitely Jane is Frank castle. .he came closer than anyone to truly bring the castle character to life.. with the right script and the right cast to support and drive the castle character home it could be such a great action movie to remember fondly for years to come

  14. Yes Thomas Jane should be in the punisher 3 movie. He was the original actor for the first movie so he should be in the others. Ray Stevenson was good but Thomas is the original. In my mind I’m seeing that the punisher should be in the avengers. he could do a lot of fighting on the ground and he has Aton of guns. It would be a good match up to team up the punisher and hawkeye. They would be really good. Think about it. In the avengers they had 2 people On the ground fighting. Capt. America and black widow. With punisher he could just shoot the bad guys from like a mile away. Even though he can’t fly capt America can’t fly either or hawkeye or black widow. Please think about it.

  15. Thomas Jane should play the next Batman, he would be way better then the batman they have now.

  16. Watching the extras on the 04 Punisher film, it is quite clear to see where the problem lies. The writer/director Johnathan Hensleigh was forced to deal with a deuces budget, limited time and then had to majorly cut the film down in editing. I’m a huge fan of the Tom Jane Punisher. But you need to see the extended cut to truly appreciate what Hensleigh created. Want a successful Punisher film? Get Jane and Hensleigh back, good script, good budget and time to create a flipping good film.

  17. Punisher 2 Warzone should be erased. There shouldn’t be another Punisher movie. The Punisher (Thomas Jane) should have cameos in every Marvel movie that has a criminal empire being established. He should be in every reboot movie of Spiderman, as a villian/hero.

  18. I thought Jane was fantastic as the Punisher. Perfect size, great build and a badass attitude. I’d like to see him not only as Frank Castle once again, but as a man behind the scene with a creative role to bring it back.

  19. I thought Jane was fantastic as the Punisher. Perfect size, great build and a bada$$ attitude. I’d like to see him not only as Frank Castle once again, but as a man behind the scene with a creative role to bring it back.

  20. I think the 2004 punisher sucked, I personally like the second one. I hear what people are saying the script of war zone but i thought it was much better version of the character. The 04 punisher to me was to commercial just like hugh jackman is a commericial wolverine. I think that warzone did the punisher alot more justice than the first movie. I havent read a punisher comic in a while to argue with the hardcore fans here but warzone seemed more like the material i use to read of the punisher. I dont know what all the villains but jiggsaw seem to be pretty legit, in these comic movies these directors always seem to mess something up. Trust me I am an x men fan to death but i will never support another x men movie until marvel gets their rights back. Marvel seems to be on a role right now aand I think that them having a studio of their own is also helping when it comes to the last four or five movies that have came out.

    As far as the punisher from what I understand the first movie was based off a real comic story arc that came out. To me it was the wrong one to use to start off the franchise. I thought the first scene of warzone alone kicked the 04 punisher ass in the first five minutes because that was real punisher type stuff. Anyhow they need to get it together because the punisher should have been very easy to make into the big screen. With all the die hard and rambo movies the punisher should have been a peice of cake.

  21. there are 3 punisher movies and a ten minute short film the first has Dolph lundgren the second had tomas jane and the third had ray stevenson and tomas jane played in the ten minute short the best one out of all of them was the first one with Dolph lundgren he plays the part well and they have him drive an old harley davidson

  22. I only read what he said in the quotes and I think he’s a load of b*******. The Punisher is a gory comic, GORY comic, and in the movie he was in was not as “rambo” as the recent one is!
    People want it to be like the comics, to be true to the comics, not become some reality TV show! f****** stupid.
    Batman is quite true the comics, aside from Joker not being all that funny, but the Joker wasn’t ALWAYS funny!
    The Punisher Warzone is way more true to the comics than the first one was. Of course it was sort of… off… with acting, scripting… good-movie-ing. I liked some of the actors (Ray Stevenson; Dominic West; Doug Hutchison) I thought they’re portrayals of the characters were oustanding. But some of the s*** was “ugh! I can’t take this!”
    That guy is just a stuck up jerk and he was by far ONE of the WORST punishers in my book. At least Ray looked like him, but Jane was just way off!
    I think the Punisher just needs a better Director next time… and screen writer… and s***… But I loved Ray Stevenson… And they should bring back Jigsaw, Jigsaw is awesome!

  23. Just do movie versions of punisher max. Garth Ennis nailed it! Punisher is not a superhero. He is Clint Eastwood meets Dexter. And it’s not a punisher story without noir style offscreen narrations.

  24. Just do a movie version of punisher max. Garth Ennis nailed it! Frank Castle is not a superhero. He is Clint Eastwood + Dexter. It’s not a punisher movie without offscreen “thought” narrations.

  25. The first thing i will say is Thomas Jane needs to be in the third one. I have alot of friends who didn’t even watch the Warzone because they fired the director and jane quit. He is the punisher (the best by far)

    And the best adaption of the punisher was a 10 minute short called “dirty laundry” check it out :) and thats almost exactly what it needs to be like. Its gritty, it’s violent and it’s pretty damn realistic. all it needs is a better budget and a really good storyline.

    Alot of you guys are suggesting Howard saints sun as jigsaw good idea (thumbs up) but i think it should be that character and not actor lol it would have to be a bigger name. they should hire howards saints son to play the part again. but we see how he becomes jigsaw with him throwing the device away after activating it but the blast still gets him and he is that heavily scarred that anyone can play him. But it will not work if it isn’t violent, gritty and real and definately wont work wthout any thomas jane

  26. I feel the best way to make The Punisher is make it as realistic as you can no need for excess blood like some of these movies no comedy in it at all you have the back store of Frank Castle pick the right villain for the movie have Thomas Jane as The Punisher of course get someone good at playing a villain maybe like Micheal Wincott or Hugo Weaving thats something a great Punisher movie needs is a great villain and no jokes.

  27. Thomas janes dirty laundry brought me here. i personally believe that the punisher should be re-invented. i think the problem is that the punisher is highly misunderstood by people and even by the people in his own universe within the comics. i see him as a topic of much debate and controversy, even argumentative (similar in the fashion presented in the boondock saints). what is punishment? is it a rule or is it a response? how far am i willing to go to to keep peace and scorn the wicked and the guilty? what is good and what is evil? these are the kinds of questions we should be asking are selves after watching a successful punisher movie. frank castle dies with his family only to be incarnated into an agent of death and hunter of malice. no punisher movie has ever explained why he is so good at what he does. yes hes a marine, but he is also a war veteran. frank castle has personally experienced the worst humanity has to offer. it was in nam that he went through an emotional, psychological and some might even say a supernatural transformation. in the horrors of war it was that he developed his natural killer-instinct. this would be excellent internal conflict for a movie. a man that suffers from nightmares of war, PTSD and only the love, peace and happiness provided by his wife and children are enough to relinquish his rage, hate and violence until an act of fate or chance destroys the very notion of his reality. revenge upon those responsible for his family’s murder would be unsuitable but a declaration of war on all the wicked, all the guilty and all the damned, anyone who would do harm on to the innocent shall be punished, that would be his drive and motivation. there r many very practical ways to incorporate comic elements in to a movie and still be taken seriously. microchip with today’s communications technologies could do so much and the automotive industry has made great leaps in military potential that a self automated battle van is totally feasible. but if you dont want to lose the notion that he is a hero in the potential realism of the movie let the costume do its job, there are various creative and practical ways to translate the punisher suit especially with the technology available. like baron carbide infusion, its not too over the top high tech that the punisher and microchip cant use it. it has almost limitless potential. infuse it to fabrics for his costume and alloys for weapons and vehicles. a believable and original punisher is completely possible. but it is the villain that makes a good hero movie. as the punisher should be re-invented so too shall his nemeses. the unstoppable punisher vs the unpunishable jigsaw, the one man army vs the ultimate “Russian” weapon, “the most dangerous man to walk the face of the earth” vs everyone else…a great punisher movie is just waiting to made…and i hope it comes. thank you.

  28. I think the Punisher needs a reboot. Just like Batman did! Heck might as well get Christopher Nolan to do a Punisher trilogy. That Batman trilogy was the best trilogy I’ve ever seen hands down and Nolan did a great job with making those movies as realistic as possible!
    I don’t know who would be a good fit for the role of the Punisher but it would be nice if they could find someone around the same size/appearance of the Punisher in the comics.
    The first movie needs to be the origin story of the Punisher. Involve his training into the Marines, his years served in the Vietnam War, his arrival to New York after the Vietnam War and how he did special training missions for Marine commandos, the day he took his wife and 2 kids to Central Park in New York City for a picnic when he was on leave and how they witnessed members of the Costa gang performing a mob killing on the Sheep’s Meadow green in the park. The Costa gang must be the main vilians of the 1st movie! They need to have the Punisher exterminate the majority of the Costa gang but not all of them.
    This is where the story comes in for the second movie. I would like to see Bruno Costa(the leader of the Costa gang) to hire the Barracuda(who by the way should be played by Terry Crews!) to take down the Punisher. After the Punisher kills the Barracuda they need to have him eliminate the remaining Costa Gang along with Bruno Costa himself. After hearing about the deaths of the Costa gang and Bruno Costa himself the brother of Bruno Costa who is a powerful Maggia boss on the East Coast needs to inform Billy “The Beaut” Russo(who by the way was a hired assassin for the Costa Gang on occasion) about the deaths of the Costa Gang. Billy Russo is now the new assassin to take down the Punisher and fails as the Punisher throws his head through a glass pane window head-first. This is the origin of the Jigsaw as the Punisher was sure that the blow to the window was enough to kill Russo.
    This is where the story comes in for the 3rd and final movie as we witness the war between the Punisher and Jigsaw.

  29. If they could bring “The Punisher MAX” series to life either in a string of movies or a big budget mini-series, whoever did it would hit straight gold. BUT ONLY if they follow it to a T. None of that “artistic license” crap.