The Punisher (film series)

The Punisher (film series)

Infobox Film
name = The Punisher Film Series

image_size =
caption = Teaser poster for 2004's "The Punisher"
director = "The Punisher" (1989)
Mark Goldblatt
"The Punisher" (2004)
Jonathan Hensleigh
"Punisher: War Zone"
Lexi Alexander
producer = "The Punisher" (1989)
Robert Guralnick
Simon Heath
Mace Neufeld
"The Punisher" (2004) & "Punisher: War Zone"
Avi Arad
Gale Anne Hurd
writer = "The Punisher" (1989)
Robert Mark Kamen
Boaz Yakin
"The Punisher" (2004)
Jonathan Hensleigh
Michael France
"Punisher: War Zone"
Nick Santora
Matt Holloway
Arthur Marcum
music = "The Punisher" (1989)
Dennis Dreith
"The Punisher" (2004)
Carlo Sillioto
"Punisher: War Zone"
Michael Wandmacher
cinematography = "The Punisher" (1989)
Ian Baker
"The Punisher" (2004)
Conrad W. Hall
"Punisher: War Zone"
Steve Gainer
editing = "The Punisher" (1989)
Stephanie Flack
Tim Wellburn
"The Punisher" (2004)
Steven Kamper
Jeff Gullo
"Punisher: War Zone"
William Yeh
distributor = "The Punisher" (1989)
New World Pictures
"The Punisher" (2004) & "Punisher: War Zone"
Lions Gate Films
Columbia Pictures
released = 1989-2008
runtime =
country = USA
language = English
budget = "The Punisher" (1989):
"The Punisher" (2004):
"Punisher: War Zone":
website =
amg_id =

"The Punisher" film series currently consists of three films based on the fictional Marvel Comics character of the same name, portrayed by Dolph Lundgren, Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson respectively.

The first film, known simply as "The Punisher" is a film that was released straight to video by New World Pictures in 1989 that's most notable for lacking the character's signature skull. Marvel hired Jonathan Hensleigh to write and direct the 2004 film which was mainly based on two Punisher comic books stories; "The Punisher: Year One" and "Welcome Back, Frank". A direct sequel was supposed to follow based on strong DVD sales, but the lack of a good script kept the project in development for over 3 years, and by the end both Jonathan Hensleigh and Thomas Jane pulled out. In June, 2007 Lexi Alexander was hired to direct and Ray Stevenson was hired in July to play the Punisher in the newly titled "", which became a reboot, and not a sequel to 2004's "The Punisher". The film is currently in post-production and will be released on December 5, 2008. The films primarily focus on Frank's vigilante crusade after the death of his family.


"The Punisher" (1989)

He is the cities most wanted, and most mysterious, vigilante. He has killed 125 people in the last 5 years. He is The Punisher (Dolph Lundgren), a one man weapon against crime. In reality the Punisher is Frank Castle, an ex-cop who's family was murdered by mobsters. Now legally declared dead, he strikes back from beyond the grave, killing mobsters wherever he can find them. As a result of this, the mobsters families have weakened, forcing Gianni Franco, one of the leaders of one of the families, to come in and take control of the families. Franco has a plan to bring the families together as one unit. However, this has attracted the attention of the Yakuza, Asia's most powerful crime syndicate, who decide to take over the families and all their interests. In order to sway the mobsters to their cause, they kidnap their children. Now the Punisher must fight to save the lives of the children of the people he has fought against for five years,while at the same time fighting alongside the man who killed his family.

"The Punisher" (2004)

After an undercover operation where Bobby Saint, son of corrupt businessman Howard Saint, is killed. FBI agent Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) retires. Howard Saint holding Castle responsible for the death of his son butchers Franks family during a family reunion and leaves Frank for dead. Burnt out and taunted by memories of his murdered family, Frank sets out to avenge his family, and he becomes a judge, jury and executioner known as "The Punisher", as Castle sets out to punish Howard Saint and his associates in a one man war, as Castle is not willing to give up until those responsible are dead.

"The Punisher: Extended Cut" (2006)

An extended cut DVD was released on November 21, 2006 with 17 minutes of additional footage which contained the Jimmy Week's subplot. Features also include a black and white stop motion animated scene, set in Kuwait based on and done by artist Tim Bradstreet, and a Punisher comic book gallery. An extended version of "In Time" by Mark Collie also appears in the closing credits of the extended cut DVD.

"Punisher: War Zone" (2008)

Waging his one-man war on the world of organized crime, ruthless vigilante-hero Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson) sets his sights on overeager mob boss Billy Russoti. After Russoti is left horribly disfigured by Castle, he sets out for vengeance under his new alias: Jigsaw. With the "Punisher Task Force" hot on his trail and the FBI unable to take Jigsaw in, Frank must stand up to the formidable army that Jigsaw has recruited before more of his evil deeds go unpunished. [ [ The Punisher: War Zone Synopsis - Superhero Hype! ] ]

Unsuccessful Projects

"The Punisher 2"

Despite "The Punisher"'s only modest success at the box office, Lions Gate Entertainment however were interested in a sequel based on the film's strong DVD sales. Jonathan Hensleigh and Thomas Jane were set to commence filming of the sequel, but the project remained in development for over 3 years due to the lack of a good script despite numerous writers being attached even after Hensleigh pulled out. Thomas Jane was eager to do the sequel stating Jigsaw as the villain, that he'd put on an additional 12 pounds of muscle, and that "it would be darker, bloodier and more unfriendly than the first one." However after reading the new script by Kurt Sutter, he stated:cquote|What I won't do is spend months of my life sweating over a movie that I just don't believe in. I've always loved the Marvel guys, and wish them well. Meanwhile, I'll continue to search for a film that one day might stand with all those films that the fans have asked me to watch. [ cite news | url= | title=Thomas Jane Pull out of Punisher 2 | | date = 2007-05-15 | ] [ cite news | url=| title = AICN Exclusive: Thomas Jane dropping out of PUNISHER 2?!? | | date = Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 6:25pm]


In May 2007, director John Dahl was in talks to direct the movie, but decided to not helm the film [ [ - Movie, DVD, Music, Video Game, News, Reviews, Interviews ] ] . In June it was announced that Lexi Alexander would then take over the role as director as a result [cite news | author=Ryan McLelland | title=Punisher 2 Lands A Director | | date=2006-06-12 | url= | accessdate=2007-09-12] .On July 21st it was announced that Northern Irish born actor Ray Stevenson would play the Punisher in the new film. Filming was slated to begin in October of 2007 in Montreal. In August, a working title for the film, "The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank" was announced. On August 28th, Lionsgate announced that the new working name for "The Punisher 2" would be "Punisher: War Zone". [cite news | url= | title= Official Sequel Title Now 'Punisher: War Zone' | | date=2007-08-28 | accessdate=2007-08-28 ]


Ray Stevenson has expressed interest in sequels, hinting Barracuda as a possible villain. At the 2008 San-Diego Comic-Con, when asked if he signed on for more Punisher, he said, "If I had my wish, it's going to run and run. It's up to the fan base. If this works, we get to do it all again." [ [ IGN Punisher: War Zone Trailer, Videos and Movies] ]

Cast and Characters


External links

* [ The Punisher on]
*shh|id=punisher|title=The Punisher Movies
*imdb title|id=0098141|title=The Punisher (1989)
*imdb title|id=0330793|title=The Punisher
*imdb title|id=0450314|title=Punisher: War Zone

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