Whether you loved or hated the previous on-screen incarnations of Marvel’s baddest good guy, Lionsgate is betting you’ll give Frank Castle another chance. Is a darker, more brutal Punisher what audiences want? Check out the first exclusive teaser trailer below!
Punisher: War Zone finds vigilante crime fighter Frank Castle, AKA The Punisher (Rome‘s Ray Stevenson), going head to head with mob boss Billy Russoti (Dominic West), whose disfigured face and deranged quest for vengeance transform him into the Punisher’s worst nemesis: Jigsaw. At the helm of the R-rated action flick is kickboxing champ-turned-director Lexi Alexander, who made her feature directorial debut with 2005’s Green Street Hooligans.
After the mild disappointment of Thomas Jane’s 2004 turn as the no holds barred anti-hero, Marvel seems to have upped the ante. Filmmakers have promised a darker, edgier Punisher this time around; much like how this week’s Incredible Hulk is a polite reboot of Ang Lee‘s angst-ridden 2003 take, War Zone is not a direct sequel to either Jane’s The Punisher or Dolph Lundgren‘s 1991 direct-to-video flick of the same name.
The villainous Jigsaw isn’t the only character comics faithful will recognize. Also along for the ride is Punisher gadget guy/confidante Microchip (Wayne Knight), Punisher Task Force head Detective Martin Soap (Dash Mihok), Agent Paul Budiansky (Colin Salmon), and Irish crime lord Maginty (T.J. Storm); the character of Loony Bin Jim (Doug Hutchinson), Jigsaw’s brother, appears to be the only major character without origins in the comics.
Tell us what you think of the Punisher: War Zone trailer! Punisher: War Zone hits U.S. theaters December 5, 2008.