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Frank Grillo Wants to Play the Punisher

Frank Grillo is no stranger to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He made his stand against Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as Brock Rumlow, the duplicitous S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who turned out to be a covert Hydra operative.

Rumlow remains alive (but not well) at the end of Winter Soldier, with many fans wondering if we’ll see him return for the developing sequel. But there’s another Marvel character on Grillo’s mind — and it’s a man with whom he shares a first name.

Speaking with SPINOFF and other reporters at the press junket for The Purge: Anarchy, Grillo tackled the subject of playing the Punisher, Marvel’s armed-to-the-teeth arbiter of vengeance. Grillo, who stars in The Purge as a Frank Castle-esque man seeking justice for crimes committed against his family, said  he’s been asked a lot lately about playing the Punisher, and it’s very much on his mind, even though he’s already committed to playing Crossbones.

“I’ve been bombarded with people asking me about the Punisher. It’s amazing,” he said. “The interesting thing is … look, my friend Chris Evans started out as the Human Torch, and then he became Captain America. So I’m going to have to follow up on this.”

Grillo speculated there are fans who want to see him play the Punisher, and similar roles, because he represents a type of actor American audiences aren’t accustomed to seeing.

“There’s a void in our country for guys in my age range who are blue-collar, regular guys who, given extenuating circumstances, it would be interesting to see how they respond,” he said. “I think somehow, I just hit a chord with the audience. ‘OK, I believe that maybe he’s a Charles Bronson-type.’ Which I was a fan of as a kid. It’s taken me in this interesting direction in the middle part of my career here. I stay fit and I’m in shape. I fight all the time. It seems to be working out.”

For now, Frank Grillo and Frank Castle aren’t the same man, and probably won’t be anytime soon, what with Grillo’s commitment to Crossbones. On the bright side, it does sound like we’ll see Grillo back in the Marvel Universe sooner than later.

“I’m signed onto a multi-contract deal with Marvel,” he said. “Without me saying anything, because they will kill me … we’re hoping, yeah. It looks soon.”

The Purge: Anarchy opens Friday nationwide.


  • Kyle McGrath

    Certainly looks the part.

  • SlamAdams

    Yea, he would totally rock as The Punisher. But I think Punisher might be back in the fold at Marvel Studios. If there are any plans to include him in the greater continuity, I’m guessing he won’t be it. Which sucks because I would totally rather see him play Punisher than Crossbones to be honest

  • Brian White

    Good casting idea

  • Mikey Wood

    Grillo would be great in the part. And I think a series is the way to go with PUNISHER. For some reason, movies don’t work. They don’t have time to build any nuance into the character (if that’s at all possible) and the one-trick-pony nature really stands out. In a series they can build. Make him into an actual human being.

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    I agree , Punisher can only work as a Tv shows , otherwise it usually looks like a parody of Bronson and vendetta based movies .

  • AntiWhiteKnight

    That’s pretty much perfect casting.

  • SlamAdams

    Making him an antagonist would be I think the way to go, especially in one of the Defender Netflix series.

  • David Castle Gartenbush Jr.

    The punisher needs a movie done right with a real budget.

  • Andrew Brown

    nope sorry to smug ..the Punisher is not smug !!!!

  • JAWS

    Kid you not I was just thinking this… Decided to look it up and here we are.

  • Guel P

    Come to think of it, The Purge would make an awesome “Days of Future Past”-ish storyline for the Punisher if it involved Frank Castle from the future travelling to the present day to assassinate the political faction responsible for allowing The Purge to happen.

    Frank Grillo would be great for the part of Frank Castle there. XD

  • Steven

    YES. He has the look and can kick ass.

  • mattdocmartin

    Punisher CAN work as a film, but needs a great director. Stevenson was a phenomenal Punisher, wasted in a mediocre film with a horrid director.

    I would have loved to have seen a blending of the Jane and Stevenson films…to make one GREAT Punisher film.

  • mattdocmartin


  • Deucifer the Sixth

    Well luckily he’s an actor so all he has to do is not act smug.

  • Zack Daley

    A) The Punisher would never fit into the MCU proper, he’s not a “PG” ish character. He’s a hard 80’s R.

    B) Disney/Marvel COULD decide to publish a Frank Grillo Punisher under their Touchstone banner which releases more adult fare and sometimes R rated films, that way it’s still in house AND it won’t be cross pollinated with MCU proper. We could then hopefully see more of the Marvel Knights type characters show up (even though we’re getting the street level types with the Netflix deal, and that will be MCU proper canon, I doubt we’ll see the Punisher)

  • Guest

    I honestly don’t think anyone should be playing The Punisher except Ray Stevenson. He’s the best one to date, in terms of looks, voice, and the portrayal of killing without questioning. Bring him back and just give him a good director and good writers.

    Issue solved.

  • Reigns

    I don’t think anyone else should be playing The Punisher except Ray Stevenson. He’s the best one to date, in terms of looks, voice, and portrayal of killing without questioning, in my opinion. Bring him back as the lead actor and get a good director and good writers for it.

    Issue solved.

  • aynwrong

    I’ve thought for a while that Jim Caviezel might make a good Punisher. Only because of Person of Interest.

  • TheMuppetManiac

    If he wanted to play Punisher, he shouldn’t have taken the role of Crossbones. No one is allowed to play two characters in the Marvel Universe. Although, I think someone from a Fox or Sony Marvel movie might be allowed. But Paul Bentley can be Vision, cause he is a spinoff of JARVIS. And Vin Diesel can play Black Bolt (he is rumored to be up for the role), because he doesn’t talk. So he can be Groot and Black Blot. Grillo would be a good Punisher, but he’s not allowed to play two roles in the same universe. And there is a rumor that Punisher cas a cameo, as the guy in the yellow truck that smashes into the car to save Fury.

  • katmore9

    Definitely agree with you on the “good writers” part.

    Garth Ennis should be hired to work on the film (if it ever happens). He writes the Punisher better than any other comic book writer.