Today, Artisan Entertainment distributed to the comics press a first look at actor Thomas Jane (“Dreamcatcher,” “The Thin Red Line”) portraying Frank Castle in the upcoming Artisan film, “The Punisher.” The film, based on the Marvel Comics character, is directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, screenwriter of the blockbuster films “The Rock,” “Armageddon” and “Die Hard: With a Vengeance.” The movie is produced by Marvel Studios’ CEO Avi Arad (“The Hulk,” “Spider-Man,” “X-Men”) and veteran producer Gale Anne Hurd (“The Hulk,” “Aliens,” “The Terminator”). “The Punisher” will hit theaters in the summer of 2004. Click the image below to see a large version of Jane as the Punisher.
This won’t be the first time the Punisher will be seen on the big screen. In 1989, Dolph Lundgren starred in the first “Punisher” film, but this film never saw theatrical release in the United States due to a variety of legal troubles and the sale of New World Pictures, although it did find it’s way into theaters internationally. In the U.S. the movie was available only on video. The movie has been universally panned and is generally considered to be one of the worst adaptations of comics into film. For comparisons sake, here’s a look at Dolph Lundgren in that same role, but without the familiar skull logo adorning his chest.