After comic-book revenge pic "The Punisher" underwhelmed at the box office (and with critics) back in 2004, surprising DVD sales helped buoy sequel talk…for a bit. Now, star Thomas Jane is talking "Punisher 2" again, and it looks like we may actually see Frank Castle put the beat down on criminals in the near future.
MTV has word from Jane that the "Punisher" sequel script is on its way: "The script comes in a couple of weeks, and it’s going to be darker, bloodier and more unfriendly than the first one," Jane confirmed.
According to IMDB.com, the script is being written by "Punisher" writer-director Jonathan Hensleigh, who previously wrote the screenplays for "Die Hard: With A Vengeance," "Jumanji," and "Armageddon."
Back in August, Jane told WizardUniverse.com that he hoped filming would begin in February 2007, and that Punisher nemesis Jigsaw would be in the film. He also said Hensleigh would not be back to direct, although Hensleigh has previously expressed interest in reteaming with Jane on the sequel.
Upon its theatrical debut in April 2004, "The Punisher" (budgeted at $33 million) made only $13 million opening weekend, and grossed $33 million in its domestic run. At 28 percent on the Tomatometer, it also gave helmer Hensleigh his lowest T-meter score to date. Had the DVD release not gone so well — to the tune of $40 million — it’s unlikely that Lionsgate would have given the Marvel character its second cinematic run (third, if you count Dolph Lundgren‘s 1989 direct-to-video version).