Marvel Planning to Reboot The Punisher… Again?

Is The Punisher about to become the first superhero to be rebooted three times in less than a decade? I guess technically the Hulk has also been rebooted three times now with the confirmation of Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk in The Avengers. However, it still remains to be seen if there will be another Hulk movie with Ruffalo in the lead role. As for Frank Castle, news came out this week that Marvel has recently regained the rights to the character, and they do plan to do something with him… they’re just not saying what it is yet.

During a Marvel Entertainment panel at the San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, Marvel’s head of production Kevin Feige confirmed the following: “Frank Castle is under the roof of Marvel Studios… and we hope to bring him into the fray shortly.” Lionsgate previously held the rights, but after the failure of the last movie Punisher: War Zone they apparently decided to let the property go. Could this mean there is a new movie in development?

Ray Stevenson was the last man to play The Punisher, while Thomas Jane starred in the 2004 film, and if you go even further back, Dolph Lundgren starred in an ’80s adaptation. It seems crazy that there have been three chances to capture this bad ass comic book on the big screen, and all of them have more or less failed. Can Marvel get it right by taking matters into their own hands? What do you think, is there still room for one more version of The Punisher?

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  • Matt

    I think it should be laid to rest.

  • A-Train

    OH god. Just leave it alone.

  • bowenarrow

    I still think the 89 Dolph Lundgren version was the best. haha

  • David

    Probably the best idea is to skip the origin story, bring him in as a supporting character in one of their other Marvel movies, and if the character is liked give him one of his own movies.

  • Niklas

    let stallone direct it!

  • Punisher: Warzone was a horrible film, but it was my favourite comic book movie of the last decade because it was side-splittingly funny with its over-the-top gore.

  • Ben

    To everyone saying they shouldn’t do another one, I think you’re missing the most important part of this story. Marvel has had the rights to the character returned to them. That means that the people who actually KNOW the character would be influential in the making of any new Punisher movie or tv show.

    Now if only they could get the rights for X-Men, FF and Daredevil back from Fox and Spider-man back from Sony.

  • Jonny Ashley

    I loved the last two punisher films. They were both their own self-enclosed stories, and loaded with campy gore and humor. I would come see a new punisher with a new guy.

  • Tomoo

    I HATED war zone, personally I thought the Thomas Jane version was the best one. Haven’t seen it in a while though.

  • Brendan

    I only saw the Dolph Lundgren version, and I never really read the comics, except when his character crossed over in other Marvel books. But it seems like these movies completely ignored the fact that the Punisher was in the Marvel Universe (partly due to rights, I’m sure). The thing that made Punisher different was that he was a non-super powered character in a world of superheroes & supervillains, and he dished out his own brand of vigilante justice relying on more conventional weaponry.
    Each of the movies (as far as I know) removed the superhero/villain element, so the films became just another action/crime story, indistinguishable from all the other films of that genre. I don’t know if The Punisher could work as a film set in the Marvel Universe of super powers, but it might be worth a shot.

  • Ben


    To be fair, within the comics, the Punisher has been much more relevant outside of the normal Marvel universe for the last couple decades. The Max series has been the best run of Punisher comics since his creation and they are totally separated from the Marvel Super heroes (barring the occasional one such as Daredevil)

    That being said, I’d love to see him thrown into the film universe that marvel has going now. I think he’d fit much better within the world created by Iron Man 1 and 2 and Incredibly Hulk than he does within the comics that those characters exist in. Hope that makes sense.

  • HFD

    Let’s hope they do it in 3D…. NOT!

  • Wim

    i jumped in excitement after reading this.
    i’m a HUGE punisher fan, and as a fan i loved the war zone movie.
    but im afraid the punisher is a tough story to capture in 1 movie, it’s a story perfectly fitting in comics, but a movie…

    lets hope that marvel will turn this into a blockbuster a la iron man!

  • Wim


    Clive Owen will be perfect for the job i think :)

  • Brees

    War zone was horrible! It was filled with campy gore, stupid characters and dialog that must have been have written by a five year old. Tomas Jane’s punisher had more of a real feel to it. I love TJ’s explanation on why he turned down the lead role for the sequel. Jane believes (as do I) the punisher deserves a realistic story much like the Dark Knight. I agree. I think the new punisher film should capture the pain and loneliness of Frank Cassel while giving us a realistic portray of his vengeance. Not over done gore meant to cover up the lack of creativity in the film i.e. WAR ZONE! Let’s face it! Realism is the genius formula Nolan used to recreate Batman. A superhero brought into the limitation’s of the real world. Frank Cassel is one of the few marvel characters that can bring that realism to a comic film. I demand better for the punisher then what was given in the war zone film. I say let TJ have another crack at it. I agree the 2004 version wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. I think they were on to something. Marvel should get someone to write and/or direct the film who is going to take character seriously. Bring back Thomas Jane as Frank Cassel.



  • punisherrowe2

    Jane was a whinny ass drunk through out the entire movie! The only good part of that peace of shit was the last 15 min of the movie when he was kicking major ass. And secondly they did not folliow the comic at all.Warzone at least tried to make the movie as close to the comics as possable. And what would be the point of remaking the movie again. IT IS FUCKING POINTLESS HOLLYWOOD!

  • Jason

    I think it could work if done right. Hell just adapt one of the Punisher Max comics. I haven’t seen the Dolph Lundgren version but if they got the violence and Possibly the actor from Warzone (He looked good in the role, plus he actually had the Punisher’s hair) With the filming sensibilities of the Thomas Jane film (Minimal CGI, straightforward filming) It could be good. I think they also have to keep it realistic, none of the campy stuff they did with Jigsaw in War Zone.

  • djroozl

    why need to reboot? get on to the next part of his life’s story and action. The Thomas Jane punisher was good enough for me and so many others. The villain with the huge veiny muscles was just Marvel-ous among other parts of the movie. Who needs to stick to the most meticulous detail of the storyline and sacrifice entertainment? At the end of the day, we want to see some art and action when we watch marvel movies…not some shit shooting and maniacal killing. why the need to listen to overrated, self-glorifying critics? Rebooting it again will get its fair share of criticism too. War zone was just terrible. Thomas Jane was smart enough to quit before putting himself in that mess. I read somewhere that the dvd sales of the Thomas Jane version was good. Goes on to show that people who watched the movie were entertained and went on spreading the word.

  • Mexican

    I say let sylvester stallone direct the movie. Or bring back dolph as the punisher we need a punisher movie with non-stop action with more then 50 killcounts but not to gory like warzone. Or if you can’t bring back dolph I say we need a well know action star as the punisher.

  • galactusface

    Here is an idea, just bring him slap bang in the middle of the punisher stories and film one of the best that would translate to the big screen well. I’m thinking Baraccuda. And it HAS to be Michael Clark Duncan for that big bastard.

  • Kobraman88

    i say put him in the reboot of spiderman seeing as the punisher has featured a lot in the spiderman comics and especially the spidey cartoon of the 90’s, it would be a good way to reintroduce the character by having him as a semi bad guy who ends up helping spidey defeat either Morbius or Kraven.
    as a stand alone film i do like the sound of Stallone directing it but he’d probably want to star as The Punisher loool.
    as for who should really be cast as Frank Castle id say Gerard Butler, hes a good actor who is great in action roles and has a similar look to the character. but saying that i think 3 reboots is enough just leave the character alone for a good while or just take the time to get the script right before actually making the film, Hollywood are to eager to release films based on comics thats why pretty much all of them suck.

  • Logan

    I think Ray Stevenson was excellent as the punisher, he had the role and the look down perfect! You can’t blame him for it. War Zone wouldn’t have been that bad if it wasn’t for the over the top gore. I thought it was the best attempt to bring the comic alive to the movies. The other 2 punisher movies didn’t follow the comics very much at all. Dolph Lungdren didn’t have the skull on his chest, Tom Jane was just lame, they messed up his orgin story. I can’t believe people thought War Zone sucked, it had microchip in it, it did a flashback of his orgin just like in the comics. And the way they filmed the scenes of the bad guys getting killed, it looked just like the comics. The great thing about War Zone is its smack dead in the middle of his war, so really they can go forward or backward if they want to. Instead of a gayboot, they need to do an orgins story and work from that point on untill war zone, then contine after it. They are redoing almost everything, its become like a fad, like the next hip thing to do, its getting tireing. And get Ray Stevenson and Wayne Knight to reprise their roles. Its a waste to do a complete reboot, War zone is good enough to keep in the franchise. I think people should at least be able to vote on it if they want to keep the same actors, I say yes.

  • Gregario

    Geez! People who hate the Punisher: War Zone are most probably not Punisher fans at all. Ray Stevenson is the only actor that portrayed the Punisher like how the Punisher should be portrayed. And the story is also the closest as it could get with the comics.

  • xavier

    what they should do is make a complete remake of the shitty x-men goddamn it

  • Joseph Lucas,III

    I want someone else to to play in the third Punisher reboot movie(2012).

  • harsesis

    Jane was a pathetic watered down Punisher for kids. He tortures a guy with an ice lolly for fucks sake. Stevenson was awesoem. Punisher is about a sad man who kills bad people in the most most graphic and violent ways possible. He’s not aimed at children! War Zone had no story but it didnt need one! It was what the character is all about! If they reboot then I hope to god the keep Stevenson. Theres too much cutesy crap comic book movies. With a decent Punisher, a Deadpool and a Spawn movie coming we might finally get something a little more aimed at the older generation!

  • Poseidon

    I think Clive Owen would do a great job with The Punisher. I am a big Punisher fan. As for the movies i would say that Punisher needs a good director; each and every character who acted had brought something new into the character, but lack lustre and populist direction had made this movies into boring junk. I think a reboot is on the cards. I would prefer the movie being directed by visionary directors like Christopher Nolan, Sam Raimi or Frank Miller.
    In my opinion, Dolph Lundgren was the best Punisher evercasted.

  • @Harsesis- The blow torch/popscicle gag was a classic from the comics, totally legit sir.

    Anyway, I liked the last two as well, or aspects at least. The 2004 version was very “hold the gore”, even Tom Jane thought it. So he petitioned hard for a proper sequel, and was shown the door for his troubles. Funny Hollywood, they did just what he suggested (for the record, zero problems with the Jane Punisher. Loved his transformation during the course of the film)

    Actually liked aspects of Warzone. Stevenson was admitedly perfect (That opening assault on the mob family was BRU-TAL lol) though that might just be his Punisher’s brand of ultra-violence talking. Call it over the top, but the Punisher of the comics has done all that and worse to criminals. What utterly ruined the movie? JIGSAW! WTF??? It was like watching Dominic West puke out Tommy Lee Jones’ Two face, while he puked out Jack Nicholson’s Joker! WHILE speaking in a LOUSY N.Y.C accent. ::vomits in mouth a little::

    I say take the third shot if you dare MARVEL comics. But if you fuck this up: May as well forget about another reboot for a decade or three, if ever… (I’m a huge Punisher fan, SO GET IT RIGHT FOR F**KS SAKE!!!

  • Pacmane

    I think they should use thomas jane again on a more sark side and have him tie in with the marvel cinematic universe,Frank Castle will be a good part with the avengers and shield,hes a good character,ass kickin,no remorse but giving justice to the people that deserve it the hard way

  • Lee

    Love a punisher back marvels bad ass is the best,imagine the rock as the next punisher

  • King P Estrada

    The Thomas Jane one was awesom