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Could War Zone’s Ray Stevenson Play The Punisher Again?

Although 2008’s Punisher: War Zone was a box-office flop, becoming one of the lowest-grossing movies based on a Marvel property, the studio has made it clear that it thinks there’s still life left in Frank Castle.

At Comic-Con International, studio President Kevin Fiege confirmed the Punisher film rights are firmly back in Marvel’s control, and that he hopes to “bring him into the fray soon.” But how soon and where? And who might play the no-nonsense vigilante?

The answers to the first to questions might be a long while coming. Marvel may be considering a fourth run at the big screen, or it may be envisioning The Punisher as part of its ever-so-slowly developing television slate that already includes The Incredible Hulk, Cloak & Dagger and AKA Jessica Jones.

However, we just may have a clue as to who they’re considering for the role — and it’s a very familiar name: Ray Stevenson.

The star of Punisher: War Zone, who plays Volstagg in Marvel’s upcoming Thor, reveals he’s had discussions with studio executives about the future of Frank Castle. “We have talked a bit,” Stevenson tells The Playlist. “We have met about it. I would love to do it. We can definitely bring back Frank to the screen.”

“It’s way out of my hands,” the actor, who also provided the voice of The Punisher in an episode of The Super Hero Squad Show, concedes to Cinema Blend. “If it’s on my path to do him again, I’ll definitely do my best.”

Stevenson, who’s best known for his portrayal of Titus Pullo — essentially a sandal-wearing Frank Castle — in HBO’s Rome, was among the few highlights of Punisher: War Zone. So it’s perhaps little surprise that Marvel is open to the actor reprising his role as Frank Castle. Whether that would be on film or on television remains to be seen.


  • Bill Reed

    War Zone was the best Punisher movie, even if nobody saw it.

  • Will

    I really liked PWZ, mainly because of Stevenson. If they make sure that they have a really solid script in place, there’s not a reason in the world this couldn’t be great. Maybe base it off of The Slavers.

  • Kbrettauer


  • Scud

    Ray Stevenson is the Punisher.

  • Beatydv

    I liked Punisher War Zone and thought Ray was the best to play the role to date.

  • Farson89

    While War Zone did suffer from tone and consistency problems I thought Ray Stevenson was absolutely fantastic as the Punisher, perfect even, and I would definitely see another Punisher movie with him starring. An adaptation of a Max arc would be good, I’m thinking either Slavers, Barracuda or Kitchen Irish.

  • Randy Watson

    Slavers makes the most sense, but what I wouldn’t give to see a live-action Barracuda…

  • Ziza9

    I enjoyed War Zone. There was actual punishment being dished out. No practical jokes or convoluted plans to break up a marriage. This was the best Punisher flick, flaws and all. Ray was perfect for the role, so I hope there is more.

  • kalorama

    That’s the epitome of damning with faint praise.

    How many Punisher movies does the collective moviegoing audience have to avoid seeing before Hollywood gets the message? Let it go, already.

  • unsean

    PWZ was an interesting film, though as some have already noted here, it was tonally off. That being said, I actually enjoyed it because it was closer in tone one of the Garth Ennis stories than the second version of the character (with Thomas Jane).

    Speaking of the Punisher, if you have not seen The Nest, directed by Florent Emilio Siri, check it out. This guy should do The Punisher in whatever form it appears in next because this guy gets it.

  • stealthwise

    Jeez, it’s not hard to do a good movie, just take the heart of Ennis’s Punisher MAX and put it together into a film.

  • Toneloak

    I think War Zone flopped because of far more reasons then the flaws in its production, Most I think the timing was the death note. The stink of 2004 Punisher was still dirty Sanchezing all the possibly interested viewing public, because of all the showings it was getting on cable TV. The 2004 Pun was too much of a revenge movie sprinkled with the Marvel Knights comedy gold of the Welcome Back Frank arc of the Punisher comic relaunch. Which IMO that concentrated Punisher trope saturated arc’s comedy elements should have been held off on until like the 3rd movie when the viewing audience would need a refresher/ re-purposing of the Punisher brand for the 4th movie.

    I’m not trying to be a mind reader, but that is the thinking I feel Ennis May have had when he crafted that jewel.There was years of Punisher stories prior to that arc he need to refresh the palette sorta speak with some comedy to open the brain back up. Which he followed with one of the darkest stories I’ve ever read in a comic to this day.

    A new Punisher movie needs the constant re-showings of WarZone as a proper reminder of the tone and a preview of the tone of next one. If anything I switch up story a bid simplify it until the budget potential grows. Instead of Batman scale ; I’d make it one of the classic single location stories you’d read in a Punisher one shot or two issue arcs. Wherein Frank is going after a snitch for info and to hand him a gift of a quick death. But, he’s not alone so is two rivaling mobs organization’s young up-in-comers looking to be made and a hit team or two. Caught in the cross-hairs are two FBI agents and some small town folks. It’d be nice to have it set all under a blanket of snow near Christmas for lolz. Pretty simple stuff but with a ambitious director, good acting and a writer looking to tell a truly (soiled & stained)human story vs. the almost monolithic death machine of The Punisher. I think that would be a great outlet for the viewing public’s collective intense & violent nature.

  • scar

    They need to budget for a twenty-first century movie, to start with. The Jane version was woefully under-budgeted, and the Stevenson budget was HALF of that! If they don’t want to spend the money, I agree, they should just drop the idea of a Punisher movie.