It remains unclear what Marvel Studios plans to do with The Punisher once they get the rights back. But Thomas Jane, who played the character in the 2004 movie, has just put forth an interesting idea. Jane has said that he would like to direct Jon Bernthal, who starred in the Netflix series, in a project centered on Frank Castle.

Thomas Jane has been acting in Hollywood for more than three decades but he has experience as a director as well. He directed 2009's Dark Country, for example. More recently, he directed an episode of The Expanse. While discussing that in a recent interview, he was asked about the possibility of returning to the role of Frank Castle. Here's what Jane had to say.

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"That would be a fan thing. If the fans really wanted me back, and we could find a script. See, I think the Punisher, and the reason why I did the short, was that it hasn't fully been cracked in a way that fully honors the character, Frank Castle, in a film. And I love what Bernthal did on Netflix. I think he's such a great Punisher. In fact, I would love to direct a Punisher starring Bernthal, because he's such a great actor."

Jon Bernthal made his debut as The Punisher in Daredevil season 2 on Netflix. Bernthal then had the opportunity to headline two seasons of a solo show before it was canceled in February 2019. But Marvel Studios will regain the rights to the character in February of next year. That means the character could be brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe fold. And, should the powers that be decide, Bernthal could come back.

There is an ever-expanding lineup of MCU shows heading to Disney+. But the idea of giving The Punisher a dark and gritty big screen reboot would offer the chance for something different. Thomas Jane explained he would be willing, under the exact right circumstances, to return to the role. But what's most appealing is the idea that a new movie would be allowed to go dark.

"We couldn't make a dark film when we did Punisher in 2004. We couldn't go as dark because people just hadn't trusted, on the production side, that fans would be into that. But, now we've got shows like The Boys and, of course, The Dark Knight came out after The Punisher, where I think that producers and studios are now aware that there's a real audience for the darkness, the Taxi Driver-esque quality that you could pull out of a Frank Castle, and that hasn't been done. And I would love to do that. But again, we have to take it to a place where, frankly, The Punisher has always wanted to go."

Thomas Jane, in addition to starring in the 2004 movie, also starred in an unofficial short titled Dirty Laundry. It was very well received by fans and helped to show us what a dark take on Frank Castle could look like before Jon Bernthal took over. This news comes to us via Comicbook.com.