How Ray Stevenson Feels About Marvel Making A New Version Of The Punisher

There’s a lot of hype around Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2, which is heading to Netflix this spring. A lot of that hype stems from the fact that Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, is being included in the new set of eps. Ray Stevenson, who played Punisher in the movie realm in Punisher: War Zone, still has his fans in the Marvel universe. Recently, he was speaking out in support of Black Sails Season 3 when he touched on how he feels about Marvel making a new version of the iconic character.

I’m delighted that the character is still vivid and valid. Punisher is from the Max series of Marvel comics which is technically an R-rated, I mean it’s a very violent man doing very violent things to very violent people. How he will translate to the audience, I wish them all the very best. But, when I look at Garth Ennis’ writing, I found it to be some of the most sophisticated and intelligent writing I’ve ever come across.

Translation: it’s going to be tough to compete with what Marvel has done with the Punisher on the big screen via gigs played by both Stevenson and by Thomas Jane. Both The Punisher and The Punisher: War Zone are R-rated films, known for intense violence but also forceful language. The good news? Marvel’s Netflix shows are a helluva lot darker and more intense than Marvel’s ABC broadcast shows. They also have more creative freedom in terms of how much language, sex and more can be shown and Netflix shows tend to run closer to subscription cable programming than any of the Big Four networks. Still, there’s something about a violent R-rated experience that is different than a long-running TV series, both in terms of what’s acceptable in language and storytelling, not to mention what works budget-wise.

Ray Stevenson is popular as The Punisher and even reprised the role in The Super Hero Squad Show. Of course, he hasn’t given up totally on his dreams of playing Punisher either. In fact, if an opportunity ever came along….

And when I did the movie, I think the only thing it suffered from was that our references were from comic books that were already 10-15 years old and I would love nothing more than to continue and bring Frank back… but bring Frank back to the big screen.

Ray Stevenson has a slew of other iconic characters under his belt at this point. This weekend, he’s set to take the small screen by storm in a very different role, playing iconic historical character Blackbeard on Starz’s Black Sails, who he describes as being sort of like Keith Richards, which sounds amazing. (Interestingly, Black Sails is about as close to an R-rated cinematic experience as you can get on TV.) Catch him in action—and with a full beard—on Saturday, January 23 at 9 p.m. ET.

And if you’d like to see how Stevenson’s Punisher stacks up to newcomer Jon Bernthal’s portrayal, Daredevil Season 2 is expected to return on Friday, March 18. You can check out when the rest of your favorites are returning with our midseason TV premiere schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.