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List of characters in the Punisher film series: Wikis

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The following is an overview of the characters to be depicted in the live-action films based on the Marvel Comic book anti-hero the Punisher. It must be stressed that the three films do not share the same continuity.


Frank Castle/The Punisher

Dolph Lundgren (1989 film)

Frank Castle (Dolph Lundgren) is the city's most wanted, and most mysterious, vigilante, known as "The Punisher". He has killed 125 people in the last 5 years. In reality, the Punisher is Frank Castle, an ex-police officer whose family was murdered in a mob hit. Living in the sewers and waging a one-man war against organized crime, his only friend is an old alcoholic named Shake. Now legally declared dead, he strikes back from beyond the grave, killing mobsters wherever he can find them.

The film changes many details of the comic book origin and the main character does not wear the trademark "skull". In the comic book, Castle's wife was named Maria; they had a son named Frank Junior and a daughter named Lisa. Maria, Frank Jr. and Lisa were all killed by gunfire after witnessing the execution of an informant. In the film, Frank's wife was named Julie, they had two daughters, Annie and Felice. Julie, Felice and Annie were all killed in a car bomb explosion meant for Castle. In the comic book, Frank Castle was a former U.S. Marine captain. In the movie, he was changed to a police detective.

Thomas Jane (2004 film)

After an undercover operation where Bobby Saint, son of corrupt businessman Howard Saint, is killed, FBI agent Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) retires. Howard Saint, holding Castle responsible for the death of his son, butchers Frank's family during a family reunion and leaves Frank for dead. Burnt out and taunted by memories of his murdered family, Frank sets out to avenge his family and becomes a judge, jury and executioner known as "The Punisher". Castle sets out to punish Howard Saint and his associates in a one man war; Castle is not willing to give up until those responsible are dead.

Director Jonathan Hensleigh and Avi Arad said in many interviews that Thomas Jane was the first and only actor to be asked to play the title role. Jane initially turned down the role twice, as well as a part in the first X-Men movie and a few other comic book movies, as he did not see himself as a superhero actor.[1] Jane said, when asked the second time to play the Punisher, that he became interested when Arad sent Tim Bradstreet's artwork of the Punisher. After learning more about the Punisher's character, he accepted. He read as many Punisher comics he could find to understand the character, and became a fan of the Punisher. Jane trained for six or seven months with the United States Navy SEALs and gained more than twenty pounds of muscle for the part.[2]

Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone)

For 2008's Punisher: War Zone, Irish actor Ray Stevenson replaces Thomas Jane as Frank Castle. In the film, Castle wages a one-man war against a horribly disfigured mob boss known as Jigsaw (Dominic West). Frank Castle has been the Punisher for six years as the story opens. With the "Punisher Task Force" hot on his trail and the FBI unable to take Jigsaw in, Frank must stand up to the formidable army that Jigsaw has recruited before more of his evil deeds go unpunished.[3]

Prior to filming, Stevenson read every possible issue of the Punisher MAX series, underwent endurance, martial arts, and weapons training with former Force Recon Marines and film fight choreographer Pat Johnson.[4][5][6]

Supporting characters

Mr. Bumpo

A tenant in the apartment building where Castle lived for a time under the name of John Smith. Grossly overweight and requiring Castle's help to get through the door of his apartment, Mr. Bumpo once suffered a heart attack and the paramedics had to destroy part of the building's wall and use a crane to take him to the hospital. Shortly after he was released, the Russian attacked Castle at his home. After a vicious fight, Castle used Bumpo to smother him, doing so for thirty minutes. Castle later left him a share of Gnucci's money, and was said by Joan to be living in a clinic in Albany after "something important fell out of his bottom." He was played in The Punisher (2004 film) by John Pinette.

Joan the Mouse

A tenant in the apartment building where Castle lived for a time under the name of John Smith. An extremely shy, frightened and timid character, Joan was terrified of living in the city and wished to move to the countryside, but didn't have the money to do so. She had a bit of a crush on Castle, baking him pies and cookies and claiming she'd merely made too many. She later received a portion of ma Gnucci's money which she used to buy a cottage in the countryside as she wanted. Years later, Castle was wounded in a fight with the Russian mob and stumbled upon her abode. She tended to him, and despite his request that she run for life and leave him to fend to himself, insisted that she help him, which she did. She was played in The Punisher (2004 film) by Rebecca Romijn.


Microchip appeared in 2008's Punisher: War Zone film portrayed by Wayne Knight. In the film, no explanation is given as to how he came to work with the Punisher, although he appears to support his war on crime. He lives with his mother, who is physically disabled and can barely move. When Jigsaw and Loony Bin Jim hear about him, they kill his mother, kidnap him, and give the Punisher a choice to either kill Microchip or Angela Donnatali and her daughter Grace (who they also kidnapped) or they will kill all three. Microchip heroically offers his own life, but the Punisher instead uses his one bullet on Loony Bin Jim, killing him. An enraged Jigsaw then promptly shoots Microchip in the head, killing him. Before his death, Castle reassured him that he "won't feel a thing" implying that he knew that Jigsaw was going to kill him and that his fate was inescapable. The Punisher, now enraged, frees Angela and Grace before brutally dispatching Jigsaw. Microchip does supply the Punisher with weapons and is presumably a former Government agent.

The character of Microchip was originally included in an earlier Michael France draft (along with the character Jigsaw),[7] but was excised from later drafts because of director Jonathan Hensleigh's distaste for him. Hensleigh said:

"There are a couple of years where I did not want to go; Microchip, the battle van, all that stuff where it got really high-tech; we're not going there at all. I deemed that too complicated, too lacking of the spirit of the sort of urban vigilante. The Punisher does not just go around blowing people away using such things that Batman or James Bond would have or would even be in envy of; he uses guile and cunning just as much as he does weaponry and physical combat."

Martin Soap

Soap appears in the 2008 film Punisher: War Zone, played by Dash Mihok. In the film, he is portrayed as a clumsy and overly self-important man, with a degree in behavioral psychology and almost no aptitude for actually confronting criminals (there are several comical scenes when he is shown fumbling with his own pistol). As a joke, his superiors assign him to the "Punisher Task Force," a meaningless sinecure which consists solely of Soap, since the NYPD is fully in sympathy with the Punisher's actions, but has to (cosmetically) appear as though it is trying to discourage vigilantism. Soap is partnered with FBI Agent Budiansky (Colin Salmon), fixated on apprehending the Punisher, who has killed an undercover agent by mistake.

Midway through the film, it is revealed that Soap is actually one of the Punisher's allies, feeding him information on his various targets. By the time Budiansky has figured this out, he has realized how evil the criminals they are up against are, and how powerless the "system" is to punish them. Soap and Budiansky both assist the Punisher to rescue the dead agent's family from Jigsaw. In the aftermath, Soap starts to walk Frank home, beginning an unsolicited lecture on the benefits of mercy and rehabilitation instead of outright execution - but halts when he is menaced by a violent mugger, whom the Punisher kills.

Spacker Dave

A young tenant in the apartment building where Castle lived for a time under the name of John Smith. Heavily pierced and strange looking. He did little but hang about on the building's doorstep, but recognized "Smith" as the Punisher, something which he inadvertently divulged to mobsters who came looking for him. Despite being tortured by having his piercings pulled out and carving his name into his forehead, he did not betray Castle. He received a portion of Gnucci's money after leaving the hospital, and later inspired an underground movement called the Spackers who had bandaged faces similar to his. He reappeared years later, now no longer wearing any piercings or bandages, and had taken up the hobby of superhero spotting, much to Castle chagrin. He was trampled by the Hulk, rendering him quadriplegic, which does not hamper his fascination with superheroes. He was played in The Punisher (2004 film) by Ben Foster.



Ray Stevenson has expressed interest in sequels, hinting Barracuda as a possible villain. At the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, when asked if he signed on for more Punisher movies, he said, "If I had my wish, it's going to run and run. It's up to the fan base. If this works, we get to do it all again."[8] Commenting on the film's villains, Stevenson stated: “We dispatched a few, but there are some other great ones,” he laughed. “Some of the great stories that are in [the Punisher comics], there is one about the Slavers — the prostitution rings, and bringing women over from Europe. There is also Barracuda, who is almost as mean and ornery as Frank. Some are more real, or more tangible than others, while some of them are larger-than-life like Jigsaw, but there are plenty [of stories to tell]. What I love is the depth that [writer] Garth Ennis gets to; he doesn’t do broad brush strokes, he really gets in there. These villains have a real motivation, a real determination that must be stopped, and you get to play off of it. That should be fun.”[9]

Cristu Bulat

A Romanian criminal specializing in brothels where East European abductees are forced into prostitution. He was eviscerated alive by Castle for information. He was played in Punisher: War Zone by David Vadim.

Tiberiu Bulat

Cristu's father, with whom he fought in the Yugoslav wars with the Serbs. They eventually went to the west where they set up a series of brothels where East European abductees are forced into prostitution. He was burned alive by Castle. He was played in Punisher: War Zone by Aubert Pallascio.


Dominic West portrays Jigsaw in the film, Punisher: War Zone, though the character's real name has been changed slightly to Billy "The Beaut" Russoti.[10] In this film, while attending a meeting, the Punisher attacks and kills a mob family. Billy escapes and is pursued by the Punisher. Later, Billy accidentally falls into a glass crusher, and the Punisher turns the machine on which grinds him around multiple times. Billy doesn't die, but all of his skin tissue is removed, leaving him permanently disfigured. Billy attempts to restore his former beauty, but the plastic surgeon doesn't help much. After killing the surgeon, he chooses to remain focused on killing the Punisher, going under the name "Jigsaw". He then breaks his mentally unstable brother, James "LBJ" Russoti, out of a hospital and they plan their revenge on the Punisher. He is eventually impaled on a sharp metal pole by the Punisher before he is thrown into a fire, killing him.

Loony Bin Jim

Loony Bin Jim, (real name, James Russoti) is a fictional character appearing in Punisher: War Zone. Created by Nick Santora and Lexi Alexander, LBJ was created for the film and never appeared in any Punisher comics. In the movie, his brother is Billy Russoti who later turns into Jigsaw. He is played by Doug Hutchison.

The brother of New York mobster Billy "Jigsaw" Russoti, former mental patient Loony Bin Jim is a chemically imbalanced, cannibalistic, psychopath whose veins practically flow with adrenaline and testosterone, leaving him in a constant state of homicidal mania that he alleviates by going on periodical killing sprees. He is eventually imprisoned in an asylum, only to be freed by Jigsaw and his accomplices, Ink and Pittsy. He immediately kills an orderly and eats his liver and intestines after being freed. He attempts to comfort his brother, who is upset due to his facial disfigurements, by telling him that he looks fantastic and smashing any mirrors near him so that he does not see his hideous reflection. He engages in a brutal hand to hand fight with the Punisher, only to be bashed against several walls, thrown around then shot in the head with a pistol.[11]

LBJ is described in the movie as "a cross between "Hannibal Lecter and Hitler"[12].

For the role, Doug Hutchison shaved his head and worked with the make-up artist to add a pale pallor, dark circles under his eyes, and a gaunt "craziness" to his appearance and hired a Brooklyn dialect coach for his character's accents.

According to the commentary with Lexi Alexander, Doug Hutchison initially passed on the project. Lexi Alexander called him on the phone and told him the character was to be looked at as "Hannibal Lecter on Speed." After an hour long conversation, Hutchison accepted the role.


An Afro-Irish crime lord in Hell's Kitchen, he was one of the four ganglords who would receive a share of Pops Nesbitt's fortune. He was played in Punisher: War Zone by T. J. Storm.

The Russian

The Russian appeared in 2004's The Punisher portrayed by professional wrestler Kevin Nash and had no dialogue other than growls and snarls. He is dressed in a sailor-type costume that he wears during his first comic book appearance. He is hired by Howard Saint to kill the Punisher. Forcing his way into the Punisher's apartment, the two engaged in a brutal fight which mirrors their first encounter in the comics. Despite sustaining a superficial knife wound to his shoulder, the Russian manages to give the Punisher a severe beating that includes returning the shoulder wound, tossing him through several layers of drywall, and hitting him with a toilet he ripped out of the foundation. In addition, like the comics, the fight takes a turn for the better when the Punisher throws a pot of boiling water in his face, which causes severe burns. This gives the Punisher the opportunity to knock the Russian down the apartment stairs. The Russian dies of a broken neck.

Howard Saint

Howard Saint is a fictional villain who appeared in the 2004 Punisher film. He was portrayed by actor John Travolta.

Saint is a mobster who operates out of Tampa, Florida. Saint does business with the Toro brothers Mike and Joe Toro, the leaders of the Cuban mafia, but he and his wife maintain a semi-legitimate image in the public eye as the owner of several nightclubs. During an undercover operation gone wrong, Saint's younger son Robert is killed by FBI and DEA agents. Determined to see someone pay for his son's death, Saint targets Frank Castle after learning his involvement in the drug bust. In a moment of homicidal rage, Saint's wife Livia demands that Castle's entire family be wiped out instead of just Castle himself. Saint agrees and relays this order to his henchmen. Castle's wife and son, his parents and the rest of his and his wife's extended family are killed in cold blood at the hands of Saint's men, mainly headed by his other twin son and his best friend, but Castle himself survives, and becomes bent on punishing those responsible, becoming The Punisher.

As Castle begins targeting Saint's empire, Saint takes on the services of the best hired assassins his money can buy, including The Russian.

The Punisher survives all of the attempts on his life, and decides to finalize his attack on Howard Saint. While Castle has been openly attacking Saint's operations, he also had another plot in action. Castle secretly stalked both Quentin Glass, Saint's best friend, and Livia Saint, Howard's wife. Due to Castle's manipulation of several factors and producing evidence for his plan, Saint began to have the illusion that his wife and Quentin (who in reality was secretly homosexual) were having an affair. Saint then is convinced of this by the false evidence that Castle manufactured, and proceeds to kill both Quentin and Livia. In the club and unaware that Saint has killed both of them, John Saint questions Howard about Quentin and Livia's whereabouts. Later that same night, Castle assaults Saint's club, leaving mines to prevent any escapes. Then, after the initial assault, Castle then decides to kill Howard's older son, John, by hooking an anti-personnel mine to an overhead lamp and making John hold it with an outstretched arm as he begs for his life and Castle walks away . Howard Saint, wounded by the previous assault, proceeds to escape the club, he is stopped by Castle and the two bitter enemies have a final showdown. The two exchange harsh words, and Saint then begins to hear John screaming, followed by an explosion. Saint goes for his gun, but is shot by the Punisher. The wound is intentionally non-lethal so The Punisher may reveal how he made Saint kill Quentin and Livia. After Saint realized this, he finds his foot chained to his car by Castle. Castle then places a satchel charge on the car, and sends it rolling into the parking lot full of cars. He casually walks away and pushes the charge button, and sends all the cars around Howard into fiery explosions and roasting him in the process. Saint dies screaming as the car drags him across the pavement, into a fire, before exploding.


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