Why Does Everyone Think The Punisher Sequel Won’t Suck?

Published 8 years ago by , Updated February 23rd, 2014 at 12:33 pm,

thomas jane punisher Why Does Everyone Think The Punisher Sequel Wont Suck?Ya know… it seems to me that Thomas Jane (Frank Castle aka The Punisher from the previous film) really got the shaft regarding this whole Punisher thing. Only a few months ago he was all set to reprise the role and was looking forward to being in a darker, grittier version of a Punisher movie, and then the whole thing fell apart.

The specific reason for why he pulled out of the movie was ever explicitly revealed, but from the old news at AICN it seems that you can lay the blame on the script.

The timeline goes something like this:

December 2006: Stuart Beattie is announced as the writer for the next Punisher film. Beattie wrote the very well done Collateral and was involved in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. At the time Jane stated that he wanted the film to be a serious drama, without any goofy stuff in it.

Early April 2007: Kurt Sutter comes on board as a writer for the film. His description of Castle as “a complex, tortured badass” sounds like a good take on the character. Gale Ann Hurd and Avi Arad are mentioned as being producers on the film.

Late April 2007: Jane says that they’re waiting on the completion of the screenplay and that they’re hoping it’s really good. At this point he anticipates filming to begin in June.

May 2007: This is when Thomas Jane announced that he wouldn’t be doing the film, stating that he wouldn’t spend months of his life sweating over a movie that he just doesn’t believe in. There was no director attached to the film yet and the rumour was it was due to how bad the first movie was and that the script was lousy.

June 2007: Lionsgate finally finds a director for the film: Lexi Alexander is announced as the woman who will be helming the new Punisher movie.

July 2007: Ray Stevenson is announced as the guy who will put on the skull t-shirt.

August 22, 2007: The director talks about pre-production on her blog, waxing poetic about Ray’s acting ability and his dedication to the martial arts training for the film – and Ain’t It Cool News goes all gooey in the knees.

There has been virtually no talk about the script since Thomas Jane left the film, and Kurt Sutter, the guy who wrote the screenplay that preceded Jane’s exit is still listed as one of the writers of the movie over at IMDB. Also listed as writers for the film are Matt Holloway, Arthur Marcum and Nick Santora. Matt and Arthur are writers of the upcoming Iron Man movie and Nick has done writing for the TV show Prison Break which I would think qualifies him as a writer of gritty material.

So here’s what I’m wondering: Has the script been completely overhauled since Jane left the production? Is that why folks with better connections than I have are doing a happy dance all over this thing? Everyone is focusing on the actor, but a great actor alone does not make for a great movie. If the script is the same then what’s all the optimism about?

I’ll tell you what it’s about: I’m guessing that it’s no longer the same script that had been penned by Sutter alone.

Now I have absolutely nothing against Ray Stevenson – I’d never even heard of the guy before the announcement related to this movie… but if it turns out that the screenplay has been completely rewritten, then Thomas Jane has gotten one of the worst cases of shafting that I’ve heard of in Hollywood.

It would mean that his show of integrity in refusing to be involved with a film that he saw as being crap – was a wake up call to the studio regarding how bad the movie was going to be. If that was in fact the event that caused them to re-examine the screenplay and bring in new writers, then the fact that the studio dropped him for a new actor really, REALLY sucks and I feel for the guy.

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  1. My fingers are crossed, but I think The Punisher was fun, but flawed. I respect that they made it for $15 million (not 30) and 10% of that went to the completion bond to guarantee they’d finish it.

    I think Tom Jane dropped out and maybe burned a bridge, otherwise why not invite him back? I just hope this isn’t another re-boot and re-cast, a la The Incredible Hulk (fair enough) and other films of late I’ve been hearing about.


  2. The script can always be re-written. I think what people are NOT realizing is that the studio had a different path for the Punisher than Tom Jane so no script would meet Tom’s approval unless it fit what HE wanted for The Punisher. Tom stated several times he wanted Taxi Driver. I personally loved Taxi Driver but that movie is NOT The Punisher. I enjoyed the 1st movie but this one is shaping up to be alot better. If I wanted to watch Taxi Driver I’d go rent it or perhaps pay to watch the remake if they ever make one. This however is The Punisher I want to watch. If the 04 film made a killing at the box office maybe Tom would have a leg to stand on.

  3. Probably right about the box office of The Punisher–but I think this would’ve been a much bigger film had it been made at the height of the Punisher’s popularity, like the early 1990s or Garth Ennis’ take in 2000.

    Glad to see you here, Advanced Dark!

    Also, NO NO NO to a remake of TAXI DRIVER!


  4. Remove how whacked out the DeNiro character was in “Taxi Driver” and why wouldn’t that work for a “Punisher” film? It strikes me that the tone: down and dirty on the mean streets of NYC would work great. Seeing the kind of underbelly that most folks never see.

    AD, do you know whether or not there has in fact been an extensive re-write since Jane left the pic?


  5. I’m a big fan of The Punisher, been reading Garth Ennis’ MAX run since issue 1. Anyone one of his stories would’ve have made a perfect movie. But, I have some hope for the script though, Kurt Sutter is writer for The Shield, which is a great show. And Iron Man looks like it will be amazing. But my main concern is Lexi Alexander, I didn’t like Green Street Hooligans that much. Who knows, until I see a trailer, I’m gonna hold out alittle hope that it doesn’t suck.

  6. And it may in fact turn out to be great… who knows? At this point it just has kind of a questionable history as far as I’m concerned.


  7. One reason why Punisher 2 is being rushed (like a potential Hobbit with or without Jackson) is because rights will be reverting back to the owner, in this case Marvel. Too bad, because it sounds like Marvel has Iron Man and Hulk in great shape.


  8. I too think that Thomas Jane was shafted, and nudged out of the project by the studio. I liked the Punisher movie. As far as box office it came in at number 2 and it was rated R. I don’t think that is too bad and it made even more in DVD sales. The Punisher is not a Marvel movie for the kids who like Spider-Man. I like Ray Stevenson he might make a good Frank, he was great in Rome, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  9. From the synopsis I’ve read at IGN about the script, the direction sounds like a Garth Ennis’ MAX style Punisher, which is fantastic. Thomas Jane did a great job with the character, but I really didn’t thing his image was ‘raw’ enough. Ray Stevenson looks the part. Thomas Jane should play the role of Captian America or Hawkeye in my oppinion.

  10. the first punisher was pretty good but it socked that he did’t turni into the puisher till the end.

  11. Coming from this as a fan of several of the cast members I have to say it won’t suck because they have a good track record of choosing projects. In particular Ray Stevenson is a well-trained and experienced actor. If you are unfamiliar with his work try to see “Rome”, particularly the last 3 episodes of season 2. Julie Benz was excellent in her “Angel” eps, and there is a good reason Wayne Knight is consistently cast in character roles in quality movies and TV. Looking forward to this immensely.

  12. The casting been pretty good, though it still sucks Jane left. But, everything I read about the script indicates that it’s pretty bad, and considering the scrike put a hold on any rewrites, it’s not looking good.

    But, I do hope they can pull it off.

  13. Miracles do sometimes happen. :-)


  14. I wouldnt mind if another punisher movie didnt come out. I thought the first one was less than thrilling.

  15. thomas jane is the man to play the punisher. i think the reason why you didn’t like it, celeste, was because they made the punisher a little soft. toward the end he became a little grittier, but still not gritty enough. i really liked jane as the punisher. i thought he was a little short for the role, but when i saw punisher 1, the guy, as an actor was good. i can see him playing a darker punisher. too bad he’s not going to do it.

  16. maybe a little off the subject but, the next genre of movies are comic book crossovers. spidey and punisher usually team-up, but with tobey and jane being replaced as their respective character roles, i don’t know how a movie like that will do. maybe if the script is hot, people won’t mind. but seeing those two familiar faces in their familiar roles in the same movie, teaming up, is what will add to the flare of wanting to go see a movie like that. for instance, they should make another blade movie. spidey and blade are a well known duo in marvel team-up. can anyone see another actor playing blade, while in a spidey-blade crossover movie? FREE WESLEY SNIPES !