Mad Max: Fury Road star Tom Hardy has already played a comic book character before, portraying the Batman supervillain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, and he was set to play another in Rick Flag for Warner Brothers’ DC Comics villain movie Suicide Squad before having to exit due to delays on Alejandro GonzÃ¡lez IÃ±Ã¡rritu’s The Revenant (eventually replaced by Joel Kinnaman) but there’s another comic character that he’s interested in taking on.
Talking to Collider recently Hardy shared that he would like to play Frank Castle, better known as the Punisher. The Marvel character has had three movies made based on him over the years—one in 1989 starring Dolph Lundgren as the vigilante antihero, another in 2004 starring Thomas Jane, and finally one in 2008 starring Ray Stevenson.
So would Marvel be willing to give it another go with Hardy as the title character, and if so, is that something you fans of the character would be excited for or is there someone else you’d rather see cast? Continue below to see what Hardy had to say and to share your thoughts.
Here’s the part of the chat with Collider where Punisher came up:
Collider: I heard Warner Bros. has a few more superhero movies, maybe one or two that they’re developing [Laughs].
HARDY: I want The Punisher”¦ I want The Punisher, or Splinter Cell, I want something”¦I don’t know what I want.
Collider: You as Punisher could be very interesting.
HARDY: I’m not big enough to be The Punisher, I’m 5’9″ [Laughs].
Collider: But I actually think that adds to the character.
HARDY: Frank Castle, I would love it. Is that him, isn’t it?
Collider: Yeah. It’s Frank Castle.
When Hardy mentions Splinter Cell, that’s the video game adaptation he’s been attached to since 2013. Whether this means his involvement is now up in the air or not isn’t clear.
Personally I’d love to see Hardy take on Punisher, so long as they don’t try to water it down so kids can see it. And that is the rub, as previous movies have remained faithful to the character’s ultraviolent nature but failed to do well critically and financially.
The answer of course is simple: with the success of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix, a door has been opened to an option for comic book characters who may not be so friendly with the big screen. The Punisher would be perfect for a series like that. The only question then is if Hardy would be open to doing a series, which is likely yes if his schedule allows for it. Though primarily appearing in feature films, he has appeared in series and miniseries over the years including Band of Brothers, Oliver Twist, The Take, and Peaky Blinders just last year.
While nothing has come of it, a Punisher TV series was said to be in the works at FOX back in 2011. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility. And let’s face it, a Punisher TV series on FOX wouldn’t likely work very well, so it’s probably for the best that didn’t work out whether we ever do see a series or not.
Either way, the short fan film Dirty Laundry that hit the ‘net a few years back (with Jane reprising his 2004 role) proved that Punisher still has his fans out there eager to see the character in action and kicking asses.