Adi Shankar, the director behind the unofficial Punisher film Dirty Laundry starring Thomas Jane, has discussed wanting to cast Gina Carano in a sequel as 'Lady Punisher'. The Deadpool actor is known for her MMA fighting career and being capable of her own stunts, having also engaged in onscreen fisticuffs in such films as Haywire, Fast & Furious 6 and Kickboxer: Vengeance over the past few years.
The first Dirty Laundry starred Thomas Jane as Frank Castle, reprising his role from 2004's The Punisher feature-length film, and saw Castle take down a group of thugs who were beating up a young teenager. The "bootlegged" film was highly praised by fans as being true to the Punisher character, who isn't afraid to be unrelenting in the violence he dishes out to criminals. And until Jon Bernthal took on the role in the MCU, many saw the short film as the definitive version of Frank Castle.
Shankar spoke to Inverse about the potential Dirty Laundry sequel and his desire to cast Carano in the 'Lady Punisher' role. He didn't mention if he would want Thomas Jane to return to play Frank Castle again, but having the pair of actors share the screen could create some welcome chemistry between them. (Whether Carano would be playing the Lyn Michaels version of the character from the comics, remains to be seen.) Here's what Shankar had to offer about his Dirty Laundry 2 vision:
“A two-hander that introduced the ‘Lady Punisher’ who was going to be played by MMA fighter and Deadpool actor Gina Carano. I want to take a complicated idea and explore it and present the question to the public, using these very accessible characters or universes”
Shankar's previous bootleg films have recieved praise from critics and fans alike, though he's also recieved several takedown notices as his films are all hosted on YouTube and don't have permission for character rights. One of his most notorious films from the 'Bootleg Universe' was Power/Rangers. The film garnered lots of support from fans, but criticised by Power Rangers actors for being too violent, as the original show was intended for children.
Shankar is also known for producing the Dredd film, starring Karl Urban (who may also be returning for the Dredd TV series). He's got an eye for cinematic violence and how to make it entertaining. So a sequel to Dirty Laundry starring a female protagonist could work quite well. Whether Marvel will let Shankar make the sequel, now that The Punisher has become a key part of their Netflix Universe, is another matter entirely.