Punisher War Zone doesn’t shy from violence, says star Ray Stevenson
The Marvel Comics antihero The Punisher returned to the movies for the third time with “Punisher: War Zone,” which arrived on DVD this week. Ray Stevenson, known for his role in the HBO series “Rome,” donned the death’s head symbol as Frank Castle, a former family man who turns to a one-man war on crime after the murder of his family. In “War Zone,” Castle faces off against the mobster Jigsaw (Dominic West), who blames the Punisher for disfiguring his face.
Stevenson said the makers of the “War Zone” film were committed to adapting the dark, violent tone of the “Punisher MAX” comic-book series, written by Garth Ennis.
“When I read the books, first I thought … this is uber-violent,” Stevenson said in a phone interview with The Oklahoman. “But it is a violent man doing violent things to violent people. And if you shy away from it, you dilute it or cheat the audience.”
Stevenson said showing the Punisher as a man without hope was a key part of the “War Zone” story.
“One thing we were stipulating right from the outset is, let’s commit to Frank Castle in the ‘MAX’ series,” Stevenson said. “Because if you do, there’s no light at the end of his tunnel. He really is on a one-way path and in his own hell. You don’t want to be Frank Castle. You’re kind of glad he’s there and can’t wait to see what he does next, but he’s not one of those aspirational characters that you want to rush home and tool up and take out the bullies in your life.”
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