The Punisher: Artisan Pictures and Marvel Studios announced today that John Travolta (Face/Off, Broken Arrow, Pulp Fiction) has been cast as the lead villain in The Punisher, the feature film production of Marvel Comics' enormously popular comic book series of the same name.

Travolta will play Howard Saint, a man involved in the criminal underworld who has managed to conceal his violent beginnings and become a paragon of society until a darker, vengeful side emerges after his son is brutally slain.

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Starring Thomas Jane (Dreamcatcher, Deep Blue Sea)in the title role and being directed by renowned screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh, The Punisher tells the story of FBI undercover agent, Frank Castle, who until now has beat considerable odds. A former Special Forces operative, he is finally moving out of the field and into a desk job -- and a normal life with his wife and son. Then Castle's world is shaken to its core by a nightmare he has longed feared: his family is executed as a repercussion from his final undercover assignment. With unparalleled intensity, ferocious intelligence and fearless actions, Castle seeks to punish the murderers -- and finds the one thing he least expected: redemption.

Thanks to CS! for the scoop!