Thomas Jane starred as Frank Castle aka The Punisher back in 2004. The vigilante badass, took on John Travolta in the film. He also took on the famous Punisher baddie, The Russian in a bare-knuckle brawl. The film did okay in the box office. Nothing to write home about but it didn’t suck either landing at $54 million with a budget of $33 million. When a sequel was discussed, Rob Zombie was brought on as a potential director for the follow-up.
Unfortunately, Zombie’s Punisher never made it to screen, but the ideas were in place and Thomas Jane was very much onboard with the gnarly direction that Zombie wanted to take things in. A departure from the first film, into a more stylized and gory take, the folks at the studio turned down the idea entirely. They even let go of Jane and went with Ray Stevenson in Punisher: Warzone. That entry did poorly with only $10 million at the box office.
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While chatting at Fanboy Expo Knoxville, Jane spilled the beans on Zombie’s potential take on The Punisher. Sadly, as mentioned above it got trashed along with Jane’s role.
“There were a couple of iterations of Punisher 2. One of them was with Rob Zombie directing, which I thought would have been interesting. Jane said. “But that was one iteration. We were batting around script ideas and trying to find a new director. The Marvel folks wanted to go with a different director, and that was their choice, so it was like, ‘Who is that person going to be?’”
Ironically, Zombie did end up with a song on the Punisher: War Zone soundtrack with the exclusive track “War Zone.”
The synopsis for The Punisher went like this:
This dark action film, based on the comic book series, follows FBI agent Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) as he transforms into the vengeful Punisher after criminals murder his family, including his wife and son. Castle is gravely injured in the attack and believed to be dead by Howard Saint (John Travolta), the crime lord who ordered the hit. Following his recovery, Castle becomes a heavily armed vigilante who will stop at nothing to exact revenge on Saint and dismantle his underworld empire.
I would have loved to see Zombie’s version of The Punisher. I mean, gore for sure. brutal fights for sure, a pitch black-hearted character for sure, and psychedelic neons and gels lighting the entire film for sure. What could have been?
Check out the closest thing we got to a Thomas Jane starring Punisher sequel below. The short film was directed by Phil Joanou and produced by Adi Shankar. The result was amazing and made me severely wish that Jane had made a Punisher trilogy. The next bad guy up would have been Wilson Fisk himself, The Kingpin.
Would you have liked to have seen Zombie direct Jane in a Punisher sequel?
Pssst. Watch the Punisher short film, you won’t regret it! Let us know what you thought about it.
Source: (Movie Web)