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Even though no one watched the first one and nearly everyone who did hates it, Marvel is dead set on making a Punisher sequel. Whether they’ll try to do what they did with Hulk and reboot it or just go for a straight sequel we don’t know. What we do know is that whatever they do they’ll do it without Thomas Jane.
It’s not because they don’t want him. Jane simply thinks the movie sucks. He sent a letter over to the guys at AICN in which he says: “What I won't do is spend months of my life sweating over a movie that I just don't believe in.”
You’ve got to respect that. It’s not like Thomas Jane is Tom Cruise and has tons of high profile roles like this offered to him every week. Turning down something like this can’t be easy for an actor like Thomas Jane. But he doesn’t believe in the movie (it sounds like he still loves the character though) and so he’s out. Well done Jane, well done.
It’s a real mystery why Marvel wants to make this movie anyway. The first one was even worse than the old Dolph Lundgren version. It wasn’t Jane’s fault exactly, but everything else about it was just awful. It’s one of the worst superhero movies ever made. It’s not like Hulk which wasn’t as good as some had hoped and made a lot of money just not quite as much as it might have. Punisher was a complete and total, stinking disaster. There’s nothing to be gained from forcing it on us again. Hopefully Jane’s departure will be a bullet in Punisher 2’s head.