Features Film TV

Top 7 Casting Choices for The Punisher

PUNISHER! NOW! I DEMAND PUNISHER BE INCLUDED IN THE MCU NOW! I don’t care how you do it Marvel! Standalone film? Great! Standard TV series like Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D or Agent Carter? Fantastic! Netflix series like Daredevil? Superb! A cameo in any of these examples? Brilliant! JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Let’s face it, we’ve been waiting for a… shall we say, COMPLETE Punisher story on our screens for a while now. The 2004 film had its moments, buuuut was kind of understated. It didn’t go all out enough. The 2008 film went all out. Right out into silly town. And the 1989 film… well, the less said about that the better. For some reason, Marvel has never been able to strike the right balance. But, in case you haven’t been paying attention, this is the Age of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Anything is possible! If they can make a film with a talking raccoon plausible, they can do the Punisher. Hell, a TV series might be better, showing Frank Castle’s never-ending war against crime. OOH, OOH! They could call it “Punisher: War Journal”!

Still, one thing you can say about the Punisher, he’s always been cast well. Okay, mostly been cast well. Ray Stevenson was tough as nails and Thomas Jane was grim and brooding (Side note, have you seen Dirty Laundry? If not, SHAME ON YOU!). Dolph Lundgren on the other hand… again, the less said about that the better.

So any actor that’s willing to step into the Punisher’s boots is going to have their hands full. But if Marvel were to cast any of these actors (Not that they’ve cast anybody else from my previous casting articles. Grumble, grumble), then I think everything will be fine.


DISCLAIMER! Actually, do I really need to put a disclaimer here? I’m pretty sure that people will know that this list is my own personal opinion. And even if they disagreed with my choices, would they be that bothered? Are people on the Internet that picky?……… Never mind.


7. Aidan Turner


I think this guy is ready for the big time. He played the sexy but tortured vampire Mitchell in the hit UK TV series Being Human (Before they inexplicably and systematically replaced of all the main characters), the sexy werewolf Luke in Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a sexy dwarf in the Hobbit Trilogy, and more recently the sexy lead character in BBC’s Poldark. It’s clear that Aidan is following the same career path as Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Which is why he’s so far down on the list. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good actor and I’ve no doubt he’d be good as the Punisher. But he is a tad TOO handsome. Nothing wrong with that, but Frank Castle is a bit more grizzled and world weary. Still, I think Aidan is worth considering.


6. Gerard Butler


Now here’s an action hero. Yep, Gerard “THIS… IS… MY CATCHPRASE” Butler can kick plenty of ass, all without the need to preface it with the chewing of bubble-gum (Look it up, kids). Thus he’s no stranger to action films, with such credits as 300, Olympus Has Fallen, RocknRolla, and How to Train Your Dragon (Yeah, I know it’s animated. I don’t care, he was great in it!).

Sadly though, he’s also no stranger to really bad films, like Joel Schumacher‘s Phantom of the Opera, Gamer, The Bounty Hunter, The Ugly Truth, Movie 43, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, and Dracula 2000. Oh wow. That’s, uh, that’s not a great selection Gerard. Still, it’s not like he can’t act. He’s just got poor taste in the films he chooses to do. If Michael McConaughey can be taken seriously as an actor, then so can Gerard!


5. James Purefoy


Look at that smile. That cocky son of a bitch. Yeah, James Purefoy may have the whole “let me charm the pants off you while I slowly stab you between the shoulder blades” look, as seen in every episode of The Following, in which he plays manipulative and sadistic serial killer Joe Carroll, but there’s actually a bit more to him.

He’s played Marc Anthony in HBO’s Rome, Thomas Marshall in Ironclad, and Solomon Kane in… well, Solomon Kane. So he’s definitely got some action chops to him. I think he’s got it in him to bring Frank Castle to life. As long as he drops the smirk and picks up a suitable grimace.


4. Jon Hamm


Now, I know what you’re thinking. And yes, on the surface Jon Hamm looks a bit too clean cut for the tough and grizzled Punisher. Don Draper may have drunk a lot, smoked a lot, and bedded many women, but he did it all in a nice suit. But Mad Men is over now, and I think that if we took off his suit, gave him a worse haircut, and put the skull on his chest, he might just pass.

We know he’s well versed in drama, but he’s also dabbled in action. Remember The Town? He went up against bloody Batfleck! Okay, not Batfleck. Ben Affleck. I just like saying Batfleck. It’s fun! Batfleck, Batfleck, Batfleck, Batfleck. Point is, if he was cast as the Punisher, Hamm would be all over it. Which makes it sound like somebody would leave pork chops lying everywhere, now that I think about it.

About the author

Scott Meridew