June 12, 2010

RUMOR: Punisher Joining Avengers & SHIELD?

It seems that Craig Fairbrass is now listed on IMDB as the new Frank Castle (Punisher). Of course everyone should take rumors with a grain of salt when it comes from IMDB. It's even odder they have Punisher listed for both Captain America and Avengers. The character really hasn't been involved with either properties and isn't known for being featured in them. Yet it does seem like a good way to revive an exhausted character who hasn't exactly worked well in solo films.

Traditionally Frank Castle has been a lone wolf criminal vigilante and is know for his extensive body counts. That aside Castle is a Marine and it wouldn't be hard to include him in a SHIELD film. While it's unlikely that he would make the Avengers lineup I could see Marvel re-introducing him in it. It could be a smart move to bring in the well known character to support their future films. I did some digging and Castle has been involved with SHIELD (alternative earth), Captain America (replacing Steve Rogers) and Secret Avengers so it's possible they could include him. The only way I could see him used in Captain America would be if his father was in the Howling Commandos so they could have the Castle name involved.

Recently Castle was played by Ray Stevenson who knocked it out of the park in War Zone even if the film didn't impress, his Punisher certainly did. It's questionable if we will ever see Stevenson's Punisher in Marvel Studios films since he is playing Volstagg in Thor. It wouldn't be surprising to see a fourth actor take on the role.

Now come the biggest problems with the rumor. Craig Fairbrass isn't known for commanding strong performances. His films (The Bank Job, Rise of The Footsoldier) don't give me the impression he's a good fit considering the level of talent that's previously been cast. Yet I have to admit he does look the part. The other issue is how much of the rights does Lionsgate own for Punisher? I've been under the impression Marvel Studios retains the rights for the character but they shared them with Lionsgate for the solo films. Similar to what we've seen with Universal and The Hulk. Although they could outright own them similar to their deal with New Line and the Blade franchise. This could be a complete fabrication but it would be interesting to see Marvel try to expand the film universe by including the fan favorite character.

*Would you like to see the Punisher in Avengers or SHIELD?

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