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.
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?