I’d never dream of spoiling any moments in “Punisher: War Zone” for you, but I feel I can safely reveal this: People die in the film. Like, a lot of people. And, at one point, star Ray Stevenson looks at one of these poor, dying schlubs and remarks: “This is just the beginning.”
Despite the fact that 3 “Punisher” movies have now been made with 3 different stars, Stevenson revealed to us that he put the line in there as a wink to the fans, hoping to say two things: He’s the only Frank Castle from now on, and he’ll be back.
“I snuck that in,” the actor laughed, talking about a moment you can see for yourself in “War Zone” now that it’s in theaters. “It kind of worked [during that killing], like ‘This is just the beginning of your hell,’ but at the time something in me was just feeling ‘Let’s be bold enough to make a statement.'”
During our just-published interview with Stevenson, the “Rome” star told us that he is eager to continue portraying the 34-year-history of Marvel’s grim enforcer on the big screen, and already has some sequel ideas.
“[I wanted to] be bold enough to say ‘We’ve gone right down to the grassroots to show the Punisher,’ and [the fans] are all aware that if this works, if it’s successful, there will be sequels to this…This is just the beginning, and to the people who respond to it, there will be more if they want more.”
In the film, Frank does battle not only with somewhere north of 100 dead henchmen, but he also takes on straight-out-of-the-comics baddy Jigsaw and created-for-the-movie villain Loony Bin Jim. And Stevenson is already throwing out a few more names he’d like to see punished.
“We dispatched a few, but there are some other great ones,” he laughed. “Some of the great stories that are in [the Punisher comics], there is one about the Slavers -- the prostitution rings, and bringing women over from Europe. There is also Barracuda, who is almost as mean and ornery as Frank. Some are more real, or more tangible than others, while some of them are larger-than-life like Jigsaw, but there are plenty [of stories to tell]. What I love is the depth that [writer] Garth Ennis gets to; he doesn’t do broad brush strokes, he really gets in there. These villains have a real motivation, a real determination that must be stopped, and you get to play off of it. That should be fun.”
Read more of our "Punisher: War Zone" interview with Ray Stevenson at MTV.com, and for more on the The Punisher's history, check out our "Punisher: War Zone" Reading List for a rundown of Frank Castle's greatest hits.
If you’ve seen “War Zone,” what do you think? Is it sequel-worthy? If so, which characters/storylines would you like to see Stevenson act out in the years to come?