Casting Call: Frank Castle

Like many I felt that both of the Punisher films released by Lionsgate were lousy and did little justice to the actual character himself I liked the 2004 version and would give it 3.5/5 stars but still it featured very little Punisher kind of stuff I guess because of the comic it was based on was essentially supposed to be an origin story. So when the head of Marvel Studios-Kevin Feige announced that Disney/Marvel Studios had acquired the rights, I was happy because I knew that a good Punisher movie might be made. That movie or possibly show is going to be titled Frank Castle and is possibly going to be released in 2014 if the movie project is still in development.

If done right, The Punisher could make an awesome movie but sadly the original film with Dolph Lundgren was just an action movie, 2004’s Punisherwas pretty good at times but still didn't have a great story, and 2008’s Punisher War Zone was all mindless action with no real story. Thomas Jane made a great Punisher but the story was the problem. All the film needs is to be grounded like the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. The Punisher could be done right like that but so far, nobody has ever had much of a good idea on how to write the character well in a movie.

Director

Michael Mann is the best possible choice for directing a Punisher movie. Crime thrillers are his thing so a Punisher movie with him onboard means business. He’s directed such famed films like 1995’s Heat with Al Pacino, 1999’s The Insider which was also a crime film, 2004’s Collateral with Tom Cruise, and even 2009’s Public Enemies.

The guy has the experience and the know how to do a Punisher movie but the success of the film all depends on the rating. The rights belong to Disney and Marvel Studios who have yet to make an R-Rated film together and in fact Disney has never done an R-rated movie which presents a problem as the Punisher needs to R-rated in order to work.

Mann is the like the go to guy when doing crime film so I’m plenty sure he could make the best Punisher ever made. There’s no doubt in my mind that this guy could do a terrific Punisher film even If I’m not a huge fan of the character myself. He knows the genre better than anyone and while I've only seen Public Enemies, I know this guy can do it and can do it pretty darn well. Now only get Garth Ennis to help out on the script and you've got yourself a Punisher movie. Top that off with Thomas Jane and you have the perfect Punisher film.

The Punisher

I really liked Thomas Jane when he was in The Punisher and I would go as far to say I would bring him back as the character. Ray Stevenson was good in the role as well but I just felt Thomas Jane felt more like the Punisher to me.

He played the character once before and he can still the play the character, even at age 42. During preparation for the role, Jane read as many Punisher comics as he could and even spent 6-7 months training with Navy Seals for the role. He hasn't done anything kind of even like the Punisher since it and I know he wanted to come back as the character for a sequel that never got made so I'm sure he'd do it.

When I heard about a new Punisher film, I immediately thought of having Jane reprise the role because I pictured Castle being a little older in this film because many of the other actors playing some of the heroes and other characters are actually in their 40’s as well. If Robert Downey Jr. can be Iron Man at like age 46 then I don't see why Thomas Jane couldn't be the Punisher. He was in the Jonah Hex animated short that came out in 2010 with Batman: Under The Red Hood and could have even played the character in live-action but obviously hasn't.

Lt. Martin Soap

Martin Soap is Castle’s police contact who provides him with information from the police database. He is generally shown to be an incompetent detective but I’m not sure he should be that way on screen because comic-relief is no longer something people like in a movie. It’s funny for a little bit and then it gets annoying. Anyways, the character was created in 2001 by Garth Ennis who is commonly said to be the greatest Punisher writer of all time.

The actor I had in mind who I’m sure could do both the comic relief version of the character or the more serious and competent version shown in Punisher Noir. That actor is Bradley Cooper. I like Bradley Cooper and in fact when I’m stumped with casting choices, I usually go with Bradley Cooper as a temporary choice because he’s actually quite versatile.

The Punisher doesn't have a lot of great supporting characters and while Microchip is typically thought of as Punisher's ally, I'd prefer it if that character weren't used again because he just doesn't seem to be very important anymore. It's nice to have an explanation of where Frank gets his weapons from but the character of Microchip is kind of lame.

General Zahkarov

Looking through his list of enemies on ComicVine, I stumbled across one interesting sounding Punisher villain called General Zahkarov. The character has only appeared in fourteen issues during the "Mother Russia" story arc of The Punisher Max series which was written by Garth Ennis. I thought it would be interesting to have a Russian gangster as the villain instead of a more colorful villain like Jigsaw.

An actor I thought of for the role would be Philip Seymour Hoffman. The guy is supposed to be a seriously talented actor that many comic book fans wanted to see as The Penguin in The Dark Knight Rises but that obviously never happened. Off the top of my head I have no idea if he's played villains before but I think it'd be kind of neat to see him as a Russian villain even if I know nothing about the character or Hoffman himself.

I don't know if that kind of a character would work in a Michael Mann directed Punisher movie but I really don't know. It was just sort of an idea I had but I'm not nearly big enough of a Punisher fan to really say that. Or another more famous villain from Punisher's rogues gallery could be Barracuda-a villain many fans like.

Barracuda

Terry Crews

Thanks to not_a_bumblebee who suggested using Barracuda in this film, I can now find actors to play the character. The character could be played by any number of tough imposing black actors including Terry Crews, Michael Clarke Duncan, Wesley Snipes, and Quinton Jackson. Out of those actors, I know two of them for sure can act. Those two are Wesley Snipes and Michael Clarke Duncan. If the Noir Universe version of the character was used, you could have him working for Zahkarov like he did in the comics in that Universe or the regular version of the character could be used.

I think Terry Crews is the best out of all them to play the character. I'm one of the few who enjoyed Daredevil and one of the many who enjoyed Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin. Parts of the movie may have been lousy but casting Michael Clarke Duncan was a brilliant idea. I would choose him for the role except I don't want to see him typecasted as that kind of character and by casting him, I'd be typecasting him.

Barracuda is the kind of villain that equals the Punisher in terms of skill and ruthlessness. He was trained in the US Army and is a gang leader, so really a more modernish villain for the Punisher. War Zone made the mistake of making the villain Jigsaw a cartoon essentially and that's just one of the reasons why that movie wasn't very good.

4 Comments
4 Comments
Posted by ZORN

You had me at Micheal Mann, but I think Micheal Clark Duncan would make a better Barracuda.

Posted by cody1984

General Zahkarov as much as I love that character since he was such a cold calculated villain would be hard to do in a punisher movie since he was a highly decorated general in the russian army who committed war crimes and went after castle since he embarrassed his country. If it wasn't for Zahkarov's quick thinking their could've been a nuclear war so the character while great would need his background story changed quite a bit to work in a modern punisher film. I think terry crews and michael duncan could work playing barracuda since they are both large physically opposing men which you would need for barracuda's character since the guy was a giant.

Posted by BADJEREMIE

I didnt like Thomas Jane for Punisher but Michael Mann is good.

Posted by Joygirl

I loved Jane as Punisher. Didn't use to take Terry Crews too seriously until Gamer, he was really excellent in that. Which reminds me, if he could drop the scottish accent, Gerard Butler might be a decent choice for Frank Castle himself. He already had his spartan training and he can look rugged and serious with the best of them.