Ray Stevenson on Thor Sequels and Playing the Punisher Again
03.09.11 by Ryan
Ray Stevenson (HBO's Rome) began his association with Marvel characters by taking over the role of the Punisher for 2008's Punisher: War Zone, which was released by Lionsgate and not Marvel Studios and earned a mere $10 million in worldwide box office. Stevenson entered into the Marvel fold as portly Asgardian warrior Volstagg in director Kenneth Branagh's upcoming adaptation of
Thor. Stevenson told The Playlist that he will likely show up in future Thor sequels.
I’ve got a three picture deal. My agent said, people won’t recognize you. And I said, I don’t give a damn! Who else is gonna give me a chance to put a big fatsuit on and ham it up? And I said to Ken Branagh, I was nervous, and he said, you can’t be too loud! So I said fine, I’ll dip my toe into the river of ham. And he said, trust me, I’ve swam in that river many times. You enjoy that!
Stevenson could also return as the Punisher, despite Punisher: War Zone's lack of success. Last July, Marvel president Kevin Feige revealed that Marvel had re-obtained the rights to the character, with Feige claiming that Marvel "hopes[s] to bring him into the fray shortly." Stevenson says that he and Marvel "have talked a bit" about bringing Stevenson back as Frank Castle.
We have met about it. I would love to do it. We can definitely bring back Frank to the screen. I think they’ve just got the property back, it was with Lionsgate.
The Punisher hasn't found much success at the box office. 1990's The Punisher went straight-to-video, while 2004's The Punisher wasn't a complete bomb, earning back its budget at the box office and enjoying greater success on DVD. Then, there was The Punisher: War Zone, which didn't do well at all. It's still possible that Marvel could successfully reboot the character, but it likely won't be any time soon.