Fox's Punisher Pilot: Who Is Your Pick to Star?

Comic book lovers, rejoice: The Punisher may be headed to the small screen.

Fox has given a pilot order to a TV adaptation of the Marvel series, our sister site Deadline reports. Described as a new take on the cult fave, the Punisher procedural will follow Frank Castle, a New York City detective who moonlights as the titular vigilante seeking justice for the downtrodden. Former Criminal Minds showrunner Ed Bernero is set to executive-produce the project.

Hung‘s Thomas Jane, Rocky IV villain Dolph Lundgren and Rome‘s Ray Stevenson have all brought the anti-hero to life on the big screen, but who should don the skull-bearing duds on TV? Hit the comments with your suggestions.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. AJ says:

    Jon Hamm would’ve been perfect, but he’s busy.

    • Plum says:

      Hamm is tall but not tough enough; Don Draper cries way too much to be the Punisher. My vote is for Joe Mangianello, Mike Dopud, Tahmoh Penikett, Sasha Roiz or Neil Jackson; all tall and tough with fight training to make a believable behind-kicking Punisher.

  2. Gabriela says:

    Yes I’ll say Tom Welling…..yes is not a surprise for anyone that I would come with that comment

    • ultimate troll says:

      DC would take a hit out on him.

    • Lauren says:

      Gabriela, I looooove Tom Welling, but he is meant for bigger things than this. Seriously, if I don’t see him on the big screen soon, I’m going postal at the nearest mall. Romance, Action, Comedy. I want to see him do it all, and not be stuck in one role again.

    • Lauren says:

      Gabriela, I looooove Tom Welling, but he is meant for bigger things than this. Seriously, if I don’t see him on the big screen soon, I’m going postal at the nearest mall. Romance, Action, Comedy. I want to see him do it all and not be stuck in one role again.

  3. Jay says:

    I think Taylor Kitsch would be a good fit for this role.

  4. Big Nick says:

    Dominic Purcell!

  5. Cameron says:

    I think Max Martini could sell the role. He tends to do coldblooded killers pretty well.

  6. Phil says:

    Isn’t that just the pitch for The Equaliser?

  7. trevors says:

    agreed to Dominic Purcell

  8. John Chill says:

    Here’s my list:

    John Hamm
    Dom Purcell
    (Tom Welling? Really?)
    Charlie Sheen?
    Carlos Bernard

  9. MacTheMovieguy says:

    Adam Baldwin is about to be free…

  10. Ryan says:

    My choice for the lead is pretty simple. Cancel this crap before it gets off the ground. Megan, sorry hun, but this is reason for Punisher comic fans to want to smack the taste out of some Fox exec and the writers, because this is NOT Punisher.

    • Todd says:


      I love the character but this sounds like crap.

    • Ray says:

      I forgot that FOX must still have the rights to the character because there is NO WAY Marvel would have the Punisher be a cop as well. It screws with the entire premise of the character. Considering we have had a war (or 2) going on for 10 years and the mounting issues of Post Traumatic Stress our vets are coping with, doesn’t it fit with the original premise of the story. Man returns from Vietnam, his family gets gunned down at a picnic, he survives and swears vengeance. But if FOX must throw something out so they retain the rights to the property,Dominic Purcell would be pretty good in the role.

  11. daftpunkfan says:

    Henry Cavill

  12. Dave says:

    Adam Baldwin, perfect choice.

  13. Polly says:

    Dominic Purcell or Jim Caviziel (only if Person of Interest bombs, which i hope not)

    • Jonathan says:

      Agree on Caviezel, although I think he’d be *better* as the Punisher. I feel he was miscast in Person of Interest, he’s so alien and wooden. The show needs a dose of charisma or lightness, or it needs to go crazy dark.

      Anyway, I also agree that a Punisher TV series is a horrible idea.

  14. Jacob says:

    Yikes. Kill this now. Please.

    • Yup says:

      I’m with Jacob. How can anyone think this is going to be any good at all? Once they PG-13 this down to network TV standards, it’ll be unwatchable.

  15. Nick says:

    Dominic Purcell – Perfect
    Tom Welling – Maybe but can he be a badass?
    Adam Baldwin – Could Work but is he too old looking?
    John Hamm – that would be ok but it wont happen
    Taylor Kitsch – No way
    Mark Valley – not bad
    Adrian Pasdar – why not

  16. Fernando says:

    Freddy prince Jr

  17. Sourabh says:

    This is a no-brainer. Danny DeVito.

  18. TJCrinc says:

    Die Adam baldwins hair black, give him a good looking gun, call it vera, and ill watch it.

  19. Rick says:

    Maybe an unknown, or something out of left field…I mean who would have figured that the guy who played the gay brother from ‘Six Feet Under’ would be so epic as a serial killing vigilante.

    I would suggest Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost) though I’m not sure he is coming back to TV (at least not network).

  20. Matt says:

    Kyle Chandler?

  21. batman says:

    Jim Parsons

  22. Jim says:

    Since the last Punisher movie was such a monumental flop on its keester, why would anyone take the risk?

  23. Valerie says:

    I’ll vote for Tom Welling. Anyone who watched the SV eps where he stepped out of the usual Clark Kent persona and went bad knows he can play a very different, more physically threatening character, and I think he could nail this.

    And I really want him back on my TV screen ASAP

  24. Timmy says:

    How bout Regis Philbin, his show is ending soon so it s really a no brainer.

  25. Firith says:

    This character cannot be properly represented on television. There are so many other superheroes that would make such a better tv series.

    Just throwing it out there, Daredevil.

    Don’t make this Fox it’s a waste of time and money.

  26. Claire says:

    Gosh no, Tom Welling would be a horrible choice. Too young, too ‘pretty boy. Jim Caviezel would be perfect, if he weren’t already taken. Speaking of which, Person of Interest already does a great job in the ‘vigilante’ department, and as much as I loved The Punisher movie, we so don’t need this. Spend money on something original for once…

    • Jae says:

      Tom Welling would be an excellent choice. The man is 34 and just “dressed” young for the part on SV and he can be a badass when he wants to! Besides, he has already played a Nick Castle, why not a Frank Castle:)

      • Gabriela says:

        “he has already played a Nick Castle, why not a Frank Castle” LMAO!! PRICELESS

      • claire says:

        Can’t speak on wether he can be badass or not, but I’ll take your word for it! Regardless, I’m sticking to my guns on this one-Frank Castle would work best played by a rough looking, ‘weathered’ type. Even with shabby stubble, Tom Welling would still look too neat and well kept.

  27. Lori says:

    I am going to have to say Tom Welling. When given the opportunity to play a darker, more threatening version of Clark Kent, aka Clark Luthor, he was down right scary.

  28. Seon says:

    I don’t think it’s not a good idea – Punisher on TV??

    Anyway, my choices:
    Dominic Purcell or Jim Caviezel

  29. Ria says:

    Definitely Tom Welling. He looks the part and can be totally “bad ass”.

  30. Paddy says:

    Liev Schreiber would be my first pick if he was available, the
    Jim Caviezel or Mark Valley.

  31. Dee says:

    I would totally love to see Tom Welling on my tv again, but I don’t think he would want to do it. He wouldn’t want to be tycast (any more than he already has :))

    Bad-ass Tom? sexy as hell!!!!!

  32. reel_deal says:

    Wentworth Miller

    • Rob says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing. He’d be perfect for the role of Frank Castle. Especially on a TV version. He was insanely interesting when he did that episode of SVU.

  33. Steve says:

    Idris Elba. Anyone who says Luther would agree. A US adaptation of Luther would be pretty sick as well!

    • Hauer says:

      Perfect choice!!! Who says that the Punisher has to be white? Marvel Studios changed the race of Nick Fury in the Iron Man and Avengers movies, so Idris Elba be AMAZING! Not to say he’d be type cast since Frank Castle/ Punisher and Luther both have that amoral stance when it comes to criminals and dishing out justice. I’m really excited about Steve’s pick.

  34. Josh says:

    I know he is taken by Bones, but David Boreanaz would be a nice fit. Seeing as how he did the bad role as Angel in the past.

  35. Annabelle says:

    1. Tom Welling for sure…he belongs on TV forever!!!

    2. Mark Valley
    3. Zach Levi???
    4. James Marsters
    5. Peter Facinelli

  36. Whiskeykid says:

    Christopher Meloni

  37. Ben Kabak says:

    Tyler Labine.

  38. Tyler says:

    I think it’s funny that someone thinks “comic book fans” should ever rejoice over anything Punisher-related.

  39. Yeah, I don’t know about this. The Punisher as a cop? Why not just stick with the comic book version? If they really want to separate it from the previous movies and the similarly themed Person of Interest, they should look at the new Punisher comic: it’s atmospheric, action oriented, and contains just a hint of the superhero aspect of the Marvel Universe. As for who should play him? I do like Adam Baldwin and Jim C’s work on POI proves he’s capable, but I would put my money on the Max Martini suggestion. Revenge looks to be serving up a pretty high body count this season, so he just might be available by next season, and he has the bad-assery street cred to make the character interesting (even though he did almost get his butt kicked by a middle aged socialite this week…)

  40. Annabelle says:

    I want Max Martini to stay on Revenge…but he does need more to do on there than clean up messes; he needs a meaty storyline, that guy rocks!!! There are a couple guys on Flash Point that might work too. But now that I think about it, not sold on the whole Punisher idea – they better do it right or it’ll tank out of the gate.

  41. Alan Copeland says:

    I can appreciate those saying “kill this now”, but if they moved it to FX and did a Shawn Ryan/Shield take on it, it could be pretty dark without being campy.

  42. Chris says:

    Apparently Fox wants to piss off fans of the comic book. The movies have all failed to bring the Punisher to life, what makes Fox executives think it will work on the small screen?

    I agree with others who have posted that the Fox people need to have the taste slapped out of their mouth and that this abomination needs to be pulled before they ever get anything set up!

  43. Cali says:

    Carlos Bernard
    Dominic Purcell
    Adam Baldwin

  44. Psivage says:

    This show shouldn’t be on Fox, it will be canceled in matter of week. Let FX or AMC be the channel.

  45. Dan says:

    Titus Welliver!

  46. Alice says:

    Tom welling would be perfect: nice and beutiful!

  47. Nigel says:

    Henry Rollins

  48. Sarah says:

    Tom welling would be perfect: nice and beutiful!

  49. Sean Carter says:

    That’s what I was thinking too.

  50. localboy says:

    Ha ha! Tom Welling and Taylor Kitsch?

    Oh, you were serious?