ByJacob Craig, writer at
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Jacob Craig

There have been rumors circling around lately about The Punisher making it to Netflix, or being in Marvel's Phase 4. Because of these rumors, I started brainstorming the actors I would want to take up arms as The Punisher. Hollywood is full of amazing actors that can pull of the brooding badass, but I've managed to narrow it down to a top ten. So without further ado, let's begin.

1. Keanu Reeves

I'm sure you've seen Keanu brought up before in posts kind of like this one. There's good reason for everyone to fan-cast him as The Punisher though, he pulls of dark and brooding like no other. Have you seen John Wick? If you have, then there's no further explanation needed, you know he was born for this role. If not, watch it, you're missing out.

2. Karl Urban

If you give Karl Urban a script, he can act it. If you give Karl Urban a script involving guns, explosions, and murdering people, he was born for it. Am I the only one who thinks this man can play everything? He was born for dark roles however, having done some heavy shooting roles in Judge Dredd, The Chronicles of Riddick, Doom, and the TV show Almost Human (am I the only one that misses that show?). Not to mention, Urban is quite ruggedly handsome, and would make it to where you could convince your girlfriend to go see The Punisher with you. (What? I can't be the only one with that problem.)

3. Norman Reedus

Come on, The Boondock Saints anyone? Not to mention his completely badass character on The Walking Dead. Ever since I started watching this man's work I had him pegged for The Punisher. (Did I mention he already voiced the character once?) Also, with Norman's level of fame, he could do The Punisher either on Netflix or in a movie, because he's done popular TV and some cult classic movies.

4. Jon Bernthal

Yeah, that's right, another Walking Dead actor, bite me. (See what I did there?) Jon Bernthal has some experience with a gun doing the movie Fury, and has done some pretty big movies as of late. Just like Reedus, he could either go back to his TV roots and do it on Netflix, or do a movie (even though he's never done a leading role that I know of). Either way, he has potential to be the gun toting vigilante we all know and love.

5. Mark Wahlberg

This one might be a little bit of a stretch, but I don't think I'm too far off. Mark has shown off his badass shooting skills in movies like Four Brothers, and I could see him as a family man gone vigilante. Just put Marky Mark in the back of your mind and think of him as an action star.

6. Gerard Butler

Take away the accent and add an ass-load of guns and you've got The Punisher. Butler is rough around the edges and full of badass potential, and I think we would all like to see him in a phase 4 MCU movie.

7. Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm hasn't done a really dark role, but he's a talented enough actor to pull it off. Not to mention he looks like a spot on Frank Castle. I'm convinced that if Hamm could take a darker tone for the Netflix series or movie, he could be the best Punisher we've seen to date.

8. Alex O'Loughlin

This man is Frank Castle ripped right off the page. Not just his looks either, his character on Hawaii Five-0 is dark and brooding down to the letter. He has experience doing roles with heavy action in them, and would be perfect for a Netflix series. A Netflix series you could get your girlfriend to watch with you. I seriously can't be the only one.

9. Christian Bale

Remember when everyone said Christian Bale wasn't going to be a good Batman? Yeah, that was funny. He's obviously proved that he can pull of a dark character like The Punisher in a movie. Hook this guy up with a skull T-shirt and an arsenal of guns, and he can take it from there.

10. Misha Collins

I could totally see Misha Collins unmercifully killing criminals in a Netflix series. On the show Supernatural Misha plays a darker, slow moving character, and I could see that in The Punisher. Come on, imagine Misha Collins walking really slowly down a narrow hallway, dressed as The Punisher, nonchalantly shooting the criminals coming at him. It could totally work.

Honorable mentions: Liam Neeson

If Liam Neeson was at least 10 years younger, he would be the prime candidate for The Punisher. Even at 62 he could give some of the people on this list a run for their money. (Watch your back Keanu)

Andrew Lincoln

The only reason Andrew Lincoln didn't make the actual list is because he's just a little too pretty boy. When I look at Andy Lincoln I can't say to myself, "I'd love it if he played The Punisher," and be confident with that statement. But that could just be me.

What did you think? Is there another actor you think should be on my list? Let me know in the comments!


Which actor do you think would make the best Punisher?


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