"The Punisher" Readies Arsenal

While many have been snickering at the prospect of another film adaptation of “The Punisher” coming to cinema screens (put us in that camp – remember the laughable Dolph Lundgren version?), casting pushes forth now that both its anti-hero and villain have been cast. As filming is scheduled to begin in approximately eight weeks: July 28th is the approximate start date the Artisan Entertainment production is searching for six secondary characters.

“The Punisher” is based on the popular Marvel Comics vigilante, who takes a hard line against criminals after his family is slain by the mob. Played by Thomas Jane (“Dreamcatcher,” “Deep Blue Sea”), the character is known for his logo— the picture of a skull emblazoned on his chest. Although filming has not yet started, a teaser will appear in cinemas on June 20th, attached to another Marvel property, “The Hulk.”

In the film, The Punisher (the alter-ego of Frank Castle) is matched up against a man who has also lost part of his family. As Artisan president of production Richard Saperstein told the Hollywood Reporter on May 14, “The relationship between Howard Saint and the Punisher is smartly drawn. Each character believes they are justified in their vengeful actions, but one is clearly not.”

Among the roles actors are being sought after:

  • Nicky Duka: Described as “A slick, greasy kind of guy” with a good sense of humor in his thirties. His relationships to the other characters in the film is not explained here.
  • Detective Jimmy Weeks: An African-American character between the ages of 35 and 45, Det. Weeks was formerly in the Special Forces. Now a detective, he’s trying to capture The Punisher.
  • Leonard Glass: In his 40s, he is the sidekick to villain Howard Saint (Travolta). In the casting notes, he is described as “good looking and conservative.”
  • Stanley Bumpo: An extremely overweight character, the producers are looking for an actor 275 pounds and up. He is a happy-go-lucky guy, described as very lovable. In the comics, he is introduced in the series’ third volume as Frank’s neighbor, and helps to save his life. Most will remember this character best when a crane has to lift him out of his apartment when he has a heart attack.
  • John Saint: At 18 to 22 years old, he plays the son of John Travolta’s character and is illustrated as being a “dark-haired pretty boy with a very well toned body.” It is his death that sets in motion his father’s crusade that puts him up against Castle.
  • Mike Toro: A cutthroat Cuban gangster in his mid-thirties.

    The film is currently scheduled to be released in summer 2004. Set to direct is Jonathan Hensleigh, his first feature. Hensleigh wrote the script to the project as well, although there has been a script polish contributed by Michael Tolkin.

    If you feel you are rightly suitable for one of these six roles, please have your agent contact either the production company or the casting director listed below. Unfortunately, FilmJerk.com does not have contact information further than this.

    The Scorecard
    Executive Producers: Kevin Feige and Stan Lee
    Producers: Avi Arad and Gale Anne Hurd
    Co-Producer: Ari Arad
    Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
    Casting Director: Pam Dixon
    Start Date: Approx. July 28, 2003
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    Production Company: Valhalla Motion Pictures
    Distributor: Artisan Entertainment