There was a lot of things wrong with Jonathan Hensleigh’s 2004 take on the Punisher (setting the movie in sunny Florida, for one), but Thomas Jane as the titular Marvel Comics vigilante was definitely not one of them. I always thought Jane got dealt a bad card back then, including a writer/director who really didn’t “get” the character. (What was that thing with the apartment full of misfits again?) It’s a shame Jane never got to reprise the role in a darker sequel, but thankfully there are places like Comic Con to remedy such injustice.
Jane brought a Punisher short film titled “Dirty Laundry” to a panel he was doing with artist Tim Bradstreet. The panel was about their upcoming comic book projects, but “Dirty Laundry” was definitely the main, surprise treat for those in attendance. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Jane is a real comic book geek. Go figure.
Jane says about the project:
I wanted to make a fan film for a character I’ve always loved and believed in – a love letter to Frank Castle & his fans. It was an incredible experience with everyone on the project throwing in their time just for the fun of it. It’s been a blast to be a part of from start to finish — we hope the friends of Frank enjoy watching it as much as we did making it.
Warning: this is what you would call a “hard R” short film. It’s got colorful language and gets pretty damn violent. We’re not talking about a goof video here. Jane and company really took the effort to make this thing as good a “Punisher story” as possible. You could almost imagine this as one of those mini-stories that would pop up in a comic book Annual that runs, say, 10 pages and involves something as quirky as the Punisher going to do laundry and getting into mischief anyway.
And oh yeah, Ron Perlman cameo alert!