I just had what my brother used to call “an epic brainwave”;
Sylvester Stallone as the Punisher.
Now, I have nothing against Thomas Jane. I think he’s a perfectly fine actor in his own right. I loved him in The Mist. But the Punisher? No. Just no.
I know a lot of you loved the first Punisher movie, but we’ve got to be real here; that portrayal of Frank Castle was the pussiest thing I’ve ever seen since Ben Affleck pulled on red tights. Frank Castle is not a mewling watery-eyed mama’s boy. He does not pull punches. He is a New York born & bred criminal-killing white slaver-immolating Mafioso gut-shooting psychopath extraordinaire.
He is not cute, cuddly or even easy to emphasize with. He is righteous rage personified in the figure of a very mortal man, in a world of superhumans.
Enter Sly Stallone. After Rambo, can anyone really say he doesn’t have the juice to play Frank Castle? Let’s go down the list;
He’s older. Frank Castle is a Vietnam vet. Stallone’s old enough to be one, but still vital as all hell.
Frank Castle is from New York (Hell’s Kitchen specifically). Stallone sounds like he’s from New York.
Frank Castle is BIG. Not huge, but big. Thomas Jane worked hard to get into shape, but he’s still a tall, lean guy. Stallone, while still lean, is big, or at least gives the impression of sinewy, old-man strength.
I rest my case.