Though he was forced to pull out of playing Rick Flagg in David Ayer’s hotly anticipated Suicide Squad, Tom Hardy might not be done with the world of superheroes just yet. During a recent interview, the Mad Max: Fury Road star voiced an interest in playing one of Marvel’s darker, trickier characters – and the more we think about it, the more this could be a match made in comic-book heaven. At the top of Hardy’s wish list is a gig as none other than antihero Frank Castle: aka The Punisher.
Marvel’s cinematic universe kicked off with Iron Man, but the studio also birthed a cult classic in 2008’s Punisher: War Zone, with Ray Stevenson taking over the role of a ruthless vigilante doling out his own brutal brand of justice after the slaying of his family. Though War Zone didn’t lead to any further films, the rights for the character have reverted to Marvel, and it’s almost guaranteed that the studio will use them at some point. Here’s the excerpt from Hardy’s interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub:
Collider: I heard Warner Bros. has a few more superhero movies, maybe one or two that they’re developing [Laughs].
HARDY: I want The Punisher… I want The Punisher, or Splinter Cell, I want something…I don’t know what I want.
Collider: You as Punisher could be very interesting.
HARDY: I’m not big enough to be The Punisher, I’m 5’9” [Laughs].
Collider: But I actually think that adds to the character.
HARDY: Frank Castle, I would love it. Is that him, isn’t it?
Collider: Yeah. It’s Frank Castle.
It’s true that Stevenson was 6’4″ and that the Punisher is usually a very intimidating character, but Hardy definitely has the grit to bring such a character to menacing life. After all, this is Bane we’re talking about here.
Of course, this may just be a pipe dream, because Hardy is going to star in the Splinter Cell adaptation, and he doesn’t seem wholly committed to a Punisher movie – just interested. Still, Hardy’s star is on the rise, so maybe that interest could be what makes another project with the character a reality – even if, like Daredevil, it ended up on a small-screen platform such as Netflix. Initial appearances would suggest Hardy is too busy and too big for a TV project, but if the passion’s there, stranger things have happened.
We’ll keep you posted on any and all news about a possible Punisher project from Marvel. The studio has its hands full right now, but at the rate things are going, every Marvel hero will have their time to shine sooner or later.