Marvel is all about its cinematic universe these days and trying to create box office juggernauts, but the studio also had a cult classic with Punisher: War Zone. The first Punisher is awful (because let’s put a guy who wears a long, black trench coat in Tampa), but War Zone is delightfully insane, and judging by Mad Max: Fury Road, Tom Hardy seems attracted to that kind of material.
Steve recently spoke with Hardy, and touched on superhero movies with the actor. Hardy was set to star in the supervillain team-up film Suicide Squad, but had to drop out (read more about that here). Nevertheless, he still wants to do a comic book movie, and at the top of his list is The Punisher:
"I want the Punisher... I want the Punisher, or Splinter Cell, I want something... I don't know what I want."
To clarify, Hardy is already attached to the Splinter Cell movie. When pushed on the topic of playing the mature Marvel character, Hardy backed down a bit.
"I'm not big enough to be the Punisher. I'm 5'9"."
Further prodding revealed passion and confusion over the Punisher's real name.
"Frank Castle, I would love it. Is that him, isn't it?"
It sure is, Mr Hardy. The Punisher was last portrayed by Ray Stevenson in Lexi Alexander's Punisher: War Zone, unless you count Thomas Jane's short film, Dirty Laundry.
Marvel has yet to announce official plans for a Punisher movie or TV series, but Daredevil's Charlie Cox would love to see him in the second season of his show, and at least one producer wants to ensure Marvel makes any Punisher material a "hard R".
Now that Marvel has the rights to the Punisher back, the character would work well on television, specially in the Netflix scene since Daredevil showed that Marvel is going for a gritty aesthetic. I know Hardy is too big for the small screen, but Punisher works very well when placed next to other heroes because he’s willing to kill.
That being said, Hardy seems slightly ambivalent about it playing Punisher if he’s also reaching for video game characters like Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher or Hitman’s Agent 47. He’s actually signed on to do Splinter Cell and when Steve interviewed him on the red carpet at CinemaCon, Hardy said they’re currently working on a draft and they also need to find time to shoot it.
While The Punisher seems unlikely right now—unless Hardy officially signs on and gives it some juice—at least one actor seems interested in the role, and as we’ve seen before, a Punisher movie done right can be plenty of fun.
Look for more with Tom Hardy soon. Click here for all our Mad Max: Fury Road coverage.