Ray Stevenson Talks Punisher: War Zone

"If somebody harmed my son, I would absolutely stop their seed..."

Forget Dolph Lundgren, forget Thomas Jane -- Ray Stevenson is the Punisher now, and he's getting ready to prove it with September's Punisher: War Zone.

Stevenson recently sat down for a chat with IGN Movies about what it's been like settling in underneath that skull-emblazoned shirt as the lethal vigilante, and he promises a new direction for the Punisher films:

"It's not Punisher 3; it's Punisher: War Zone. We're going exclusively for the MAX series with Garth Ennis writing and Tim Bradstreet doing the cover illustrations. That was the look -- the New York, night-time predator, with all the incredible, dark psyche that goes along with him. Certainly not a superhero, but an anti-hero."

The Punisher, as fans of the comic books know, is one of the more interesting characters in the Marvel universe -- a man driven to the most desperate fringes of justice for its own ends. It was all the more disappointing, then, that the two previous attempts to bring his story to the screen (1990's Lundgren-led The Punisher and the 2004 Thomas Jane reboot) didn't do the best job of turning the print version into compelling viewing. Stevenson isn't worried, though -- in fact, he's already talking franchise:

"I'd be delighted to play Frank again. We've opened him with this one; we've opened up wounds. It was a very interesting journey as an actor because it really does raise some quite severe moral and social issues. The state can still kill people, but we can't license individuals to kill people. We've advanced, as it were. Yet if somebody harmed my son, I would absolutely stop their seed. I don't think I'd be big enough, or magnanimous enough, to allow due process. And if they got off, how would I feel then? But where is the advancement if we constantly revert back to eye-for-an-eye, to the ancient law of retribution? Are you happy that he's out there, knowing full well that you'll never be a target? But what if you transgress? Where does he draw his line? And if we entertain, and at the same time hold up a mirror, then we're in..."

To read more of Ray Stevenson's thoughts on Punisher: War Zone, follow the link below!

Source: IGN Movies



John Nunez

I think this one will be more true to the comic

Feb 29 - 05:43 AM


Gimy Moo

urgh...this makes me miss watching Rome. another great series.

this might be decent, i wanna see a trailer first though. i liked, didn't love, the Thomas Jane version. for some reason he didn't sell it for me enough. i don't know, almost like he was ACTING too much in it. kinda hard to explain but, i think this role needs a person you believe even in real life would become this type of guy. Jane just seems too nice. Stevenson on the other hand...seems like a guy if you really hurt him, he'd come back...cut your head off and UPS it to your mother

Feb 29 - 05:53 AM


Daniel Klooster

Yeah I miss my Pullo and Verenus (or however their names are spelled). That was a very good show. One thing I do when people complain that I'm too picky about movie writing is point at HBO TV shows like Rome and Deadwood and say, "Look at what they could do". We should demand that type of quality from movies, acting, writing, story, plot, all the above (yes I know TV shows are able to move along slower than movies). Most of the time I'd rather watch a single episode of these shows than most of the movies I spend more money on to watch (not to mention costs much more to make).

Back to the subject. I actually didn't mind the last Punisher movie. Wasn't great, but didn't hate it. Stevenson should make a great Punisher and I'd hope that they take the next step with this movie.

Feb 29 - 06:38 AM


AC Persons

The last Punisher movie lacked because of the Miami setting and the cheesey characters in the apartment later in the movie. The violence was old-school brutish (the rambo knife through the bottom of the mouth seen through the mouth rocked), but it wasn't enough.

Rome may have been one of the best dramas ever. Ray will carry this.

Feb 29 - 07:02 AM


Justin Dean

in response to the quality of HBO shows compared to movies, lets be honest some people aspire for greatness and fall short. People will make movies that they think are great ideas, but really their not. All in all, I liked jane's punisher, but he wasn't as cold and vindictive as the comic.

Feb 29 - 07:09 AM


johann hart

I really hope they come back with a good Punisher cause they seem to forget or probably dont know who the Punisher is. This is one Marvels darkest reality super heros, no super power, super human strenght or super abilty. none a that bull****. And please not a miami scene, (the man is not from miami) The Punisher is dark strikes in the dark rides a chopper, slings all kinds of powerful arsenal and hardly talks & is trademark for his torcher and killing attack. Now thats the real Punisher. so lets see what bull**** they gonna come with.

Feb 29 - 08:17 AM


Gimy Moo

yeah, Deadwood and Rome lasted 3 seasons and 2 seasons respectively...but they're on what, season 25 of American Idol? there is no god. those series were good because they didn't go for cgi, they focused on story and character development. to me, what made them great is they were old school and spent $ on the sets and wardrobe.

nobody ever seems to bring up King Arthur, which Stevenson was in also. i get the feeling i was the only one who really liked that movie.

Feb 29 - 08:26 AM


Big Brother

I really like King Arthur with the exception of Clive Owen in the lead role. I just didn't believe him as a leader of men. Especially the stellar cast they got to play the nights of the round table. He was way to preachy to be a leader of men like that. They would have iced him in his sleep and been home to their own country by morning.

Feb 29 - 09:35 AM


jack giroux

This PUNISHER looks cool, I wasnt happy with the first PUNISHER, but I think this will be cool. I still wish THOMAS JANE was still the PUNISHER I thoguht he was good but everything else was crap. I like how there focusing on PUNISHER MAX.

Feb 29 - 08:52 AM


Jake Wickett

Yeeea King Arthur was MUCH better than people gave it credit for.. Stevenson was Awsome as Dagony (spelling??)

Feb 29 - 09:26 AM


Big Brother

I really like King Arthur with the exception of Clive Owen in the lead role. I just didn't believe him as a leader of men. Especially the stellar cast they got to play the nights of the round table. He was way to preachy to be a leader of men like that. They would have iced him in his sleep and been home to their own country by morning.

Feb 29 - 09:35 AM


Michael Schaefer

Jane wasn't enough man for the role of Punisher. Pullo and this chick director (Green Street Hooligans was a pretty good flick) will hopefully pull it off. I agree King Arthur wasn't horrible...they could have used more CG characters in the battle at the end.

Feb 29 - 11:26 AM


joe shmo

stevenson sounds like he knows what he's talking about. got pretty philosophical, but hey, he's challenging himself and us to think about some of the moral issues behind the killing.

to me, this contemplative nature has a lot to do with the frank castle character. the guy isn't just a lunk-head who ices fools to get his jollies, he's trying to restore order in situations where the law is too slow on the uptake. and that often means murdering a lot of scum bags.

but stevenson, and i'm sure director lexi alexander, recognize the punisher's status as anti-hero, which is not really how he was portrayed in the Tom Jane version. Punisher really doesn't have the right to judge people, nor does he care.

to Castle, killing "bad guys" is a means to and end, but really he's just perpetuating the very violence he seeks to elliminate. it's a complex character and i've got high hopes for their treatment of him.

this had better be a "Hard R."

Feb 29 - 11:45 AM


Greg Guro

If it's an R I'll watch it, but it'll probably be PG-13 and then the now common "unrated" version

Feb 29 - 01:16 PM


Richard Robertson

You're not the only one Gimy. I really enjoyed King Arthur, and like so many others here, I also enjoyed Rome. If anyone can pick up where Jane left off, it's Stevenson. He has the physical and emotional aspects needed to pull off Frank Castle, so I'm looking forward to seeing this one. I would like to see a trailer soon just so we can get a glimpse of the hopefully darker feel of the Punisher world.

Feb 29 - 01:24 PM


Eric Stewart

King Arthur i enjoyed that as well. I'm looking forward to the new Punisher and seeing what Stevenson can do.

Feb 29 - 03:14 PM


idle one kenobi

Thomas Jane wouldve made a better, NO, PERFECT CAPTAIN AMERICA. This stevenson guy could be a great punisher as long as he goes all Rambo on the bad guys.

Stallone coulda made a good punisher too. He knows how to deal out justice to those that have wronged.

Feb 29 - 04:37 PM


Matanuki .

I liked King Arthur too. And anytime I read somewhere or hear someone say that it was horrible, I just think of Alexander. Now THAT movie was horrible.

Mar 1 - 05:44 AM


Justin Dean

thomas jane barely passed as punisher, but for him to play Cap is crazy. You want this guy to screw up two super heroes. Brad Pitt is Cap, or Mark Walhberg is cap.

Mar 1 - 07:13 AM


Michael Zimmerman

I think the problem with the first "Punisher" was that they nearly made the bad guys good and the hero like a villain. Travolta did a great job (if only Jonathan Hensleigh would give him the room to do an excellent job) as Howard Saint, but we're supposed to hope Saint dead. Instead, it's just depressing.

And the action was a little bland, despite Hensleigh's attempts to bring back the retro era where computers weren't used. Let's hope Lexi Alexander knows what she's doing.

Mar 1 - 09:52 AM


First Last

After watching him in "Rome" and that new horror flick "Outpost" (pretty cool flick), I have no doubt he'll work.

Mar 2 - 07:42 AM

What's Hot On RT

Cosplay Gallery
Cosplay Gallery

See over 350 Comic-Con Costumes!

The Hobbit
The Hobbit

See the final movie's trailer

Weekly Ketchup
Weekly Ketchup

Read the Comic-Con revelations


Noah, The Other Woman and more

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile