Newsarama.com has posted an interview with The Punisher director Jonathan Hensleigh about the new Extended Cut DVD, where he has been able to put back some of the originally-conceived intensity back into the film:
Newsarama: Do you consider this extended cut of The Punisher to be your director's cut?
Jonathan Hensleigh: Everyone involved, myself, Thomas Jane, Marvel and Lionsgate were all in agreement that we weren't going to do a "director's cut". In other words this is not a version of the film that I would have preferred to have been released. All it is an extended cut. In other words we're offering the fans this whole other storyline, the Jimmy Weeks storyline, which was cut from the film because we didn't have the cash to shoot the opening Kuwait scene. There were also length problems with the inclusion of all of the other Jimmy Weeks material but we wanted to include that now. The Kuwait scene was the whole genesis of the whole storyline and once you took that out there wasn't really any point to the whole thing so we tried to find a way of configuring a cut that excluded it altogether.
Newsarama: Many Punisher fans thought the theatrical version of the Punisher was a little bit too light at times, but the Jimmy Weeks scenes add a much deeper element of darkness to the movie because now the Punisher forces his former best friend to kill himself.
Jonathan Hensleigh: Yes, it is darker now. The Punisher is really executing Jimmy Weeks. He makes it very clear that if Weeks doesn't do the deed himself then Castle is prepared to kill him. I would add that there's one camp of critics that think the picture is too light. Then there's a whole other camp of critics of the movie who think that the film is way too violent. This is just the way things are now with the internet based bloggers. No film has ever been able to please all the people.
CLICK HERE to read the entire interview with Jonathan Hensleigh!