Dolph Lundgren has revisited one of his earlier movie roles by dressing up as The Punisher for a new photo shoot. Recently, Lundgren appeared as a guest on The Launchpad Podcast, and together, they recreated the classic Amazing Spider-Man No. 129 comic cover. In the original image, a drawn Frank Castle is shown aiming a firearm, having been tasked with killing Spider-Man. The new image subs the comic Frank with Lundgren wearing the trademark skull shirt and aiming his weapon the same way, and the picture is overflowing with nostalgia. You can check out the recreation below, which was posted to The Launchpad Podcast's Instagram account.
The Punisher is a Marvel Comics creation, with the original comic books telling the story of vigilante Frank Castle - a man who dedicates his life to cleaning up the streets by way of executing criminals following the killings of his family members. Dolph Lundgren famously portrayed the character in the 1989 live-action adaptation of the comic book, serving as the first man to bring Frank Castle to the big screen. Even still, the role is one of the most well-remembered of Lundgren's career. As The Punisher was years ahead of the comic book movie boom of the new millennium, the movie didn't set the box office on fire at the time, but has since developed a strong cult following with many fans remembering it fondly.
Following Lundgren's turn as Frank Castle, Thomas Jane took over the role by starring in the 2004 version of The Punisher. With no relation to the original movie, it retold the story of Frank witnessing the deaths of his entire family, transforming him into a murderous vigilante donned in black clothing. Plans for a sequel would morph into another soft reboot for the franchise with the release of Punisher: War Zone in 2008. While this third Punisher movie replaced Jane with Ray Stevenson in the titular role, it was still very pleasing for big fans of the character due to its brutal kills and creepy portrayal of Jigsaw by Dominic West. In 2012, Jane came back to the role for the acclaimed short film Dirty Laundry which is also an incredibly entertaining watch.
More recently, the role of Frank Castle was portrayed by The Walking Dead star Jon Bernthal on the Netflix TV series adaptation of The Punisher. The show ultimately ran for two seasons before Netflix gave it the axe along with all of the other Marvel shows on the streaming service. As a spin-off of Daredevil, the series was said to be set in the MCU, and it remains possible Frank could show up in an upcoming Marvel movie or even a TV series revival for Hulu or Disney+. As of now, there have been no plans officially announced about using Bernthal as The Punisher again, but the actor recently said he has no desire to move off of Frank, suggesting he'd jump at the chance to play him again if the opportunity presented itself.
Bernthal has made a fantastic version of Frank Castle for the MCU's version of the character, but for longtime fans, it's awesome to also see Lundgren revisiting the role. All of the actors play The Punisher have brought something unique to the table with their portrayals, and lots of respect should go to the first man to bring him to life. The new image of Dolph Lundgren as The Punisher comes from The Launchpad Podcast on Instagram.