Dolph Lundgren Thinks Scott Adkins Would Be A Great Punisher

Martial artist and actor Scott Adkins may have had a minor role in Doctor Strange, but Rocky IV and The Expendables star Dolph Lundgren thinks the world may have missed out on what could have been a great performance as The Punisher instead. Lundgren, who directed Adkins in the new movie Castle Falls (out today), told ComicBook that he thinks Adkins could have played a great Frank Castle -- a kind of reciprocal compliment, because Adkins had told Lundgren that he enjoyed the star's performance in The Punisher, a 1989 film adaptation that has been largely forgotten in the age of superhero blockbusters.

Adkins has said in the past that he regrets taking on such a small role in Scott Derrickson's Doctor Strange, since it likely precludes him appearing in another, larger role in a different Marvel project. While Marvel has reused a few actors, they were largely as background characters. Remember the famous "did Captain America meet Star-Lord's grandma?" conspiracy theory?

"You'd be a good Punisher, I just realized that," Lundgren told Adkins during an interview with ComicBook. 

"You know what Dolph? I agree!" Adkins said with a laugh.

In the time since Lundgren was The Punisher, the role of Frank Castle has changed hand a few times in live action. Thomas Jane appeared in the 2004 film The Punisher, based largely on the comics from The Boys writer Garth Ennis and artists including Darick Robertson (The Boys) and Steve Dillon (Preacher). In 2008, Ray Stevenson took on the role in Punisher War Zone, a film directed by Lexi Alexander who, like Adkins, has a background as an elite martial artist.

The most recent take on the character was in a Netflix series, which starred The Walking Dead star Jon Bernthal as Castle. That version is (probably?) still canon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the Marvel Netflix shows ostensibly took place in the same shared universe as the movies and Disney+ shows, so far none of those characters have transitioned over. There are rumors that Daredevil and/or Kingpin might do so in either Spider-Man: Far From Home, Hawkeye, or both.

In Castle Falls, Adkins plays a down-on-his luck UFC fighter who, alongside a desperate father played by Lundgren, is scrambling to find a fortune in drug money hidden within the walls of a dilapidated hospital that is about to be destroyed. Lundgren directed the movie, which is now screening in select theaters. You can rent Castle Falls on Amazon Prime Video.