Marvel fans usually like it when studios take risks and think outside the box when hiring, especially when it comes to directors. Taika Waititi and James Gunn weren’t a natural choice when it came to starring in big-budget superhero films, but they brought their unique voices and approach to Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok, and now these films are among the best. Ever made Marvel movies. These risks don’t always work (more on them later), and we sometimes hear about situations where a radical, left-wing choice almost occurred, creating a tantalizing “What if?” question for the Marvel universe.
This is due to the TV series “The Punisher”, in which Thomas Jane starred as vigilante Frank Castle back in 2004. the Marvel cinematic universe. He never had a sequel, but during a performance at the Fanboy Expo in Tennessee (via ComicBook) Jane mentioned that Rob Zombie was a candidate for the post of head of Punisher 2, and sorry… what?
There were several iterations of “Punisher 2”. One of them was with director Rob Zombie, and I thought it would be interesting. But it was one iteration. We discussed script ideas and tried to find a new director. The Marvel people wanted to go with another director, and it was their choice, so they thought: “Who will this person be?”
One of the criticisms leveled at Thomas Jane’s The Punisher, directed by Jonathan Hensley, is that it has enough brutality needed to become a real Punisher movie. Frank Castle is a man who is waging war on criminals after his innocent family is caught in the crossfire of rival gang members. The punisher forgives no one and leaves corpses behind.
Hiring Rob Zombie to participate in The Punisher 2 would give the sequel an advantage that was not in the Hensley film. See how Zombie reimagined Halloween by taking on the classic John Carpenter franchise, or what he brought to The Munsters. They don’t look at all like we expected, and I know his interpretation of “The Punisher” would be just as extreme. You KNOW we’d do a killer montage on Dragula, and that’s cool.
Instead of Rob Zombie, the character of the Punisher fell into the hands of Lexi Alexander, who intensified the violence for a more suitable Punisher: A War Zone, but still created a film that even the director hates. The character then gained some level of stability when fan favorite Jon Bernthal donned Frank Castle’s bulletproof vest for several Netflix appearances. But then it was canceled.
Marvel Netflix heroes are returning to the MCU: Daredevil is about to appear in the Hulk Woman series, and Kingpin has been added to Echo. However, despite the rumors spread by Rosario Dawson, the Punisher is not ready to appear in the new Disney+ show. But if and when he does… maybe Rob Zombie will be back in business?