In 2004, Thomas Jane brought Marvel Comics' antihero vigilante Frank Castle to the big screen in The Punisher. Though the film wasn't well-received, most thought that Jane's performance as Castle was a highlight. When he isn't acting, Jane is also a comics writer and founded the publisher Raw Studios. It isn't too surprising then that Jane maintains strong feelings about his comic book character role. He even reprised the role in an unofficial short film he co-created titled Dirty Laundry in 2012. ComicBook.com spoke to Jane about making his television directing debut in the fifth season of The Expanse. With all of the recent news about past Spider-Man and Batman actors returning to their roles, we had to wonder if Jane might be willing to get back into character as Frank Castle again, should the opportunity arise. Not only would he be game, but he'd also like to try his hand directing a Punisher project starring Jon Bernthal, who played the same character in Netflix's The Punisher series.
"That would be a fan thing," Jane says of reprising the role. "If the fans really wanted me back, and we could find a script. See, I think the Punisher, and the reason why I did the short, was that it hasn't fully been cracked in a way that fully honors the character, Frank Castle, in a film. And I love what Bernthal did on Netflix. I think he's such a great Punisher. In fact, I would love to direct a Punisher starring Bernthal, because he's such a great actor.
"Now, if the fans wanted me to come back and play Frank, and the script was something, and when we found a director and a script where we really felt that we could put a stamp on this character, there is so much to that Frank Castle and the Punisher, and his world," he continues. "We couldn't make a dark film when we did Punisher in 2004. We couldn't go as dark because people just hadn't trusted, on the production side, that fans would be into that. But, now we've got shows like The Boys and, of course, The Dark Knight came out after The Punisher, where I think that producers and studios are now aware that there's a real audience for the darkness, the Taxi Driver-esque quality that you could pull out of a Frank Castle, and that hasn't been done. And I would love to do that. But again, we have to take it to a place where, frankly, The Punisher has always wanted to go."
Does this sound like a Punisher dream team to you? Let us know what you think in the comments.
The Expanse will return for its fifth season on December 16th on Amazon Prime Video