Confirmed comics fanatic Thomas Jane took it upon himself to make a short film continuing the adventures of the title character he played in Marvel’s 2004 film, The Punisher, and he premiered it over the weekend at (where else?) San Diego Comic Con. While no title cards are flashed, and the character never comes right out and says “Hi, I’m Frank Castle a/k/a the Punisher,” this shirt does make an appearance. In other words, Marvel probably would have had to sign off on this, and Jane likely has the clout to make that happen.
The new short finds our not-officially-named hero living in a van, still haunted by dreams of what has been done to his family, and what he’s done in return. He doesn’t seem to be doing much in the way of vigilante justice these days, just some laundry and kicking it at the corner store with a war vet clerk (the great Ron Perlman, recently photographed by Nadav Kander). Crime has a way of finding Jane’s character, though, making him want to do something about it yet again. Watch the film above to find out whether he does. (Spoiler alert: He does.)
According to Jane’s Twitter feed, this short is not part of some campaign to return to movie screens as The Punisher (Ray Stevenson already tried the role on for size four years later in the commercial failure Punisher: War Zone.) Instead, it is merely supposed to be a fan letter to the character Frank Castle from someone who once played him. What a geek!