Pictured Above: Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone. Courtesy of Lionsgate.

The folks at Lionsgate were so gracious as to provide Coming Soon with a first look at Rome star Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle in next year’s Punisher: War Zone. The film is a series re-boot being directed by Lexi Alexander (Green Street Hooligans) and is being produced under the watchful eye of Marvel chief Avi Arad.

Many in the comic films world are hesitant to get on the bus with this one after the fallout between producers and Thomas Jane, who starred as Frank Castle in 2004’s The Punisher. In an interview with Cinematical, Lexi Alexander promised fans that War Zone “definitely will be a Hard R, and luckily Lionsgate’s been great about it. They haven’t given me any guidelines in terms of violence. I think they’re a real good studio to make a violent movie, and I really like violent movies. So it’s definitely going to be a Hard R.”

She also went on to clear up whether or not this will be an extension of the previous film or a complete re-boot, saying “with Castle, it’s one story — the mythology stays the same — and I think I just have a very very different take on it. I was lucky to put it in the right environment, which was dark and cold.”

It appears, at least to me, that Lexi Alexander has her head on straight when it comes to the flick. Although, I can’t say that I am a fan of Stevenson’s look as Castle. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I need to see more, but he doesn’t look as iconic as Jane did in the same role. Then again, I am not into the Punisher lore, making me a very unreliable source when it comes to the accuracy of the character. All I can say is that I loved the Jane version. You can draw your own conclusions from there.

Up for Discussion: Which look do you prefer, Stevenson or Jane as the Punisher?

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