Has Marvel Found Its Punisher?

Punisher skullWith Marvel Studios’ Guardians Of The Galaxy coming August 1st, there’s a lot of speculation as to what other characters they will bring to the big screen.

That combined with Marvel being interested in working with Aaron Eckhart on an unnamed project, I wonder if it’s a relaunch of the Punisher.  It’s important to notice that the article was written 11 months ago, before Marvel had regained the rights to the character.

There were three movies based on him, with Dolph Lundgren in 1989, Thomas Jane in 2004 (who also starred in a short film, The Punisher: Dirty Laundry in 2012) and most recently, Ray Stevenson in Punisher: War Zone in 2008).

Lundgren’s portrayal was actually pretty decent, but also tends to be the most maligned in terms of public perception (it didn’t help that he lacked certain characteristics that the Punisher is known for, like the skull insignia on his chest).

Aaron Eckhart certainly has the physical chops for the role, so if that’s Marvel’s plan, he’d be great for it.  Another important point to mention is that there are numerous fan films based on the Punisher, two of which I featured here.

They’re a tribute to the popularity and longevity of the character, and I hope that Marvel can see that people want to see more of Frank Castle.

The Punisher: Dead Of Night

The Punisher: No Mercy

 

 

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‘Dirty Laundry’ Featuring Marvel’s Punisher

Thomas Jane strikes me as a really neat guy, mainly because he seems to care about things.  This interests me because, for afar, it often seems that many actors do what they can to isolate themselves from their fans to such a degree that they appear as cyphers.

Not Jane.  He’s also not afraid to let his geek flag fly, if the choice of films he stars in is any indicator, as well as the clip below, illustrate.

It was presented at Comic-con, and it features the Punisher, whom Thomas Jane portrayed in the 2004 film.  The character was rebooted four years later in “Punisher: War Zone” though that time he was played by Ray Stevenson.

As I said, from what little I know about Jane, I think that I would like him if I met him, though I don’t think that the’s a great Punisher, as opposed to Ray Stevenson, or even Dolph Lundgren, who in a physical sense better fit the character.

Which is the biggest hurdle for me:  Thomas Jane lacks the physical presence to carry off the role.  When you watch “Dirty Laundry” he goes through the motions, and that’s exactly what it feels like.

The Punisher intimidates.  You fear the Punisher long before he lays a hand, or a knife, upon you.  He’s more like a force of nature than a person, and an actor is needed who can bring a fierceness, a dangerousness, to the fore.

Which, based upon what I have seen, it just isn’t Thomas Jane, despite the fact that he clearly loves the character (which is the only reason that I think that he would revisit him with no prompting; though if I were a bit more cynical, I would wonder if it had anything to do with the Punisher making the move to the small screen).

You Can’t Keep A Good Punisher Down

Frank Castle, when his family is gunned down by mobsters, declares an all-out war on crime as The Punisher.  As a comic character, his popularity at times has approached that of DC Comics’ Batman, though he never successfully made the leap to feature films.

First Dolph Lundgren tackled the character, and while physically his portrayal was an accurate one, it felt a bit off.

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