In 2004 the film The Punisher was released. I want to talk a little about this movie and where I’d like to see this character go in the future. I’m not going to talk much about the sequel/reboot that had Ray Stevenson as The Punisher simply because I have not seen it since it came out (although I have just ordered it 🙂 )
*****Minor Spoilers of the Start of the Film*****
The 2004 movie stared Thomas Jane as Frank Castle, an FBI agent whose entire family is killed in a revenge attack by crime boss Howard Saint, played by John Travolta. Castle played a minor part in the death of one of Saint’s sons during an arms deal sting where Castle was undercover as a middle man in an illegal arms deal. Although Howard Saint initially only orders Castle’s death his wife Livia demands that castle’s entire family is killed. In a short battle Castle and his Dad manage to take down some of Castle’s men but only after a lot of his family, and Frank’s wife’s family have been slaughtered. His father is then murdered and he sees that his wife has fled with their son, with Saint’s men in close pursuit. Castle is too late to save his wife and son and is himself shot in the chest and blown off of a fuelling station on a pier. He survives and is brought back to health by a local fisherman he knows.
Then he sets out to get his revenge.
I’m not going to go into any more detail then that for the 2004 movie because I think I’ve put in enough spoilers there. I really like this film, I think Thomas Jane is an awesome Frank Castle/ The Punisher and I think it is a role that he is truly in love with. If anyone has seen the fan film he made along with Adi Shankar and Phil Joanou then you know how much affection Jane has for this character. I think he encapsulates The Punisher incredibly well and I would love to see him being able to explore the role in a lot more detail. This is where I would begin to Reboot the character. From what I know of Thomas Jane he is a creative person, he writes, produces and has directed a little too I believe so having him on board in the lead role and as a producer is an obvious decision. I’d bring in the tea behind Dirty Laundry as well, seeing how raw this short movie is and the heart that everyone involved in it had I think its also a bit of a no brainer. As for the cast I’d bring in Wayne Knight to reprise his role of Microchip which he played in The Punisher: Warzone. Aside from his physical resemblance to the character I think Knight has some decent acting chops and could easily be a foil for Castle. My first introduction to The Punisher was the 90’s Spiderman TV series where Castle was hunting down Spidey and he had Microchip helping him. In this interpretation he seemed to be Castle’s link back to humanity and from what I’ve read on Wikipedia of Microchip’s history in the comics I think it could prove to be a huge source of potential story lines. Microchip, from what I know, also serves The Punisher like Q serves James Bond, gives him lots of toys to do his job.
This is where my lack of comic book reading holds me back a little. From a little reading up on Wikipedia and from what I’ve seen of him on screen I think the right team could put together a good supporting cast. There has got to be a few good writers out there that have grown up reading The Punisher so lets get them on board to. Getting people that love this character on board on the production and writer staff to me is vital.
I think a total reboot would be a good idea as this would let the show have free reign and not be restricted by past interpretations. I also think this should be a TV series. The Punisher seems like a character that would be served better in an HBO style series over ten, maybe twelve episodes. I’m thinking a studio like HBO would be good because they don’t hold back. The Punisher is a very dark character and I think he needs to be on a channel that does not have the restrictions that some networks have. Make this an adult show, don’t hold back because I think it would harm the character if they did.
I really want to see this one rebooted, I don’t know who holds the rights to the character now, I think it’s Marvel but I wouldn’t swear to it. But The Punisher is one of those characters that we need in comics that is the counter balance of the likes of Captain America, Tony Stark/Iron Man and Thor. He will do what they wont do and he has no qualms about doing it. He’s an anti-hero that could be a huge success on screen if done right.
We as an audience love to see the nasty side of life, what better character to show us it then The Punisher.