The Punisher is a 2016 superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character The Punisher, produced by Marvel Studios, WWE Studios, and Gary Sanchez Productions and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the thirteenth installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the start of Phase 3. The film will be directed by Adam McKay and stars Neko Cortez, Ethan Hawke, Will Ferrell, Sarah Gadon, Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, Mark Calaway, Eddie Redmayne, and Charlie Cox.
The Punisher was released on March 4 2016 in 3D and IMAX to positive reviews and was a box office success.
Set after the events of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Frank Castle / The Punisher returns to Hell's Kitchen, New York to hunt down the man that killed his wife a year ago.
- Neko Cortez as Frank Castle / The Punisher
- A vigilante and former Avenger who aims to clean up any city by any means necessary, no matter how lethal the results. According to Kevin Feige, the MCU version of The Punisher will be more heroic while still retaining some of the character's comic book traits. Levi Miller will play younger Frank Castle in a flashback scene. Cortez filmed The Punisher while defending his WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
- Ethan Hawke as Detective Martin Soap
- A detective / police officer of the NYPD and ally of The Punisher.
- Will Ferrell as Billy Russo / Jigsaw
- A criminal mastermind who is responsible for the death of Maria Castle, Frank's wife. Unlike previous incarnations of Jigsaw where his face his scarred, this incarnation's face is not scarred. Ferrell's performance was highly praised by critics, with some citing it as a serious turn from Ferrell's comedic roles, while others compared it to the highly praised roles of Vincent D'Onofrio from Daredevil and David Tennant from Jessica Jones, both of whom have cameos in the film.
- Sarah Gadon as Joan
- A tenant in the Apartment building Frank lives at and Frank's love interest.
- Kristen Wiig as Lt. Molly Von Richtofen
- A talented investigator of the NYPD and close ally of The Punisher.
- Mark Calaway as William Rawlins
- An inexperienced gangster and a dangerous man from Frank's past.
- Patton Oswalt as Billy Koenig / Microchip
- A S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent secretly working for Castle as a hacker and weapons expert and close friend of The Punisher.
- AJ Styles as Mickey Fondozzi
- An NYPD Officer and childhood friend of Castle who helps him hunt down and defeat Jigsaw.
- Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock / Daredevil
- A blind lawyer who becomes the hero Daredevil and childhood friend of Castle who helps him hunt down and defeat Jigsaw. Cox reprises his role from Daredevil. Skylar Gaertner will also reprise his role from Daredevil as younger Matt Murdock.
- Eddie Redmayne as Tom Smith / Blackbird
- A businessman with electromechanical suits to fight crime in Manhattan after a plane crash that traumatized his life and causing him to lose both of his arms, which were replaced with electromechanical arms, who helps Castle hunt down and defeat Jigsaw. Redmayne reprises his role from Blackbird.
- Norman Reedus as Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider
- A motorcycle stunt man who sold his soul to a demon and became a vengeful fiery spirit that feeds on the evil of his victims. He also helps Castle hunt down and defeat Jigsaw. Charlie Hunnam was originally the frontrunner, but later dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
- Jon Bernthal as Harry Dawson / Slipknot
- A former ally of Punisher who works as a dangerous vigilante who, similar to Punisher, aims to clean up Hell's Kitchen by any means necessary, no matter how lethal the results.
- Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Spacker Dave
- A heavily pierced tenant in the Apartment building Frank lives at.
- Terry Crews as Barracuda
- A criminal with highly trained armed combat and exceptional strength and durability and assistant / friend of Jigsaw.
- Paul Dano as Nicky Cavella
- A psychotic captain of a crime family and close friend of Jigsaw.
- Sarah Natochenney as Kathryn O'Brien
- A former CIA Agent who now lives as a tenant in the Apartment building Frank lives at.
- Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Finn Cooley
- A disfigured Irish criminal and bombs expert working for Jigsaw.
- Ray Winstone as Grigory Volchek
- A Russian crime boss who formerly worked for Jigsaw.
- John Goodman as Howard Saint
- The head of the NYPD who becomes suspicious of The Punisher's antics.
- David Koechner as Bumpo
- A tenant in the Apartment building Frank lives at.
- Marion Cotillard as Ma Gnucci
- A vigilante currently being held by the NYPD who despises corporations and the corrupt, especially those who disregard the safety and well-being of the working class.
- Mike Mizanin as Carl Burban / Bushwhacker
- A trained assassin who formerly worked for Jigsaw and now works alone as the leader of a gang.
- Paul Wight as Nikolai Zahkarov / Man Of Stone
- A former Russian general who currently works for Jigsaw as a weapons specialist.
- Mark Henry as Paul Budiansky
- A NYPD Officer who helps Castle hunt down and defeat Jigsaw.
- John Tuturro as Ink
- One of Nicky Cavella's bodyguards and close friend of Pittsy.
- Joe Pantoliano as Pittsy
- One of Nicky Cavella's bodyguards and close friend of Ink.
- Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson
- Murdock's close friend and law partner. Henson reprises his role from Daredevil.
- Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple
- A nurse in Hell's Kitchen. Dawson reprises her role from Daredevil.
- Saraya Jade-Bevis as Maria Castle
- Frank's Wife who was killed by Jigsaw a year ago.
- Jason Ritter as Alvin Mirage / The Interrogator
- A bounty hunter who keeps a collection of belongings and evidence from various vigilantes, mainly from The Punisher and Daredevil. Ritter reprises his role from Season 1 of Daredevil.
- Steve Carell as Nicky Donatelli
- An officer working for the NYPD and ally of Molly Von Richtofen.
- Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones
- A former superhero suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who opens her own detective agency, Alias Investigations. She also helps Castle hunt down and defeat Jigsaw. Ritter reprises her role from Jessica Jones.
- David Tennant as Kilgrave
- A man from Jones's and Castle's past who can control minds and formerly worked for Jigsaw. Tennant reprises his role from Jessica Jones.
- Paddy Considine as Quentin Glass
- The right hand man of Howard Saint.
- Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk / Kingpin
- A former powerful businessman currently in prison whose interests in Hell's Kitchen brought him into conflict with Murdock, Daredevil, and Punisher. D'Onofrio reprises his role from Daredevil.
- Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America
- The leader of the New Avengers and a World War II veteran who was enhanced to the peak of humanity physicality by an experimental serum and frozen in suspended animation before waking up in the modern world. Evans reprises his role from previous MCU Media.
- Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Castle Sr. / The Punisher
- Frank's deceased father who worked as the first Punisher in the past before meeting his fate in a plane crash caused by Jigsaw.
Additionally, Hayley Atwell, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Paul Rudd, and William Hurt reprise their roles as Peggy Carter, Ben Urich, Scott Lang / Ant-Man, and Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, respectively, from previous MCU Media. Dragonball Z voice actors Sean Schemmel and Chris Sabat appear as Prison guards to the prison that Kingpin is currently in. Marvel co-creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance as a bus driver, and Punisher co-creator Gerry Conway makes a cameo appearance as Gary, the Bartender to the bar Frank goes to. Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch cameos as a taxi driver. WWE Superstar and Minority Owner Triple H plays Captain Ross, the Captain of the NYPD. Internet celebrity and creator of The Nostalgia Critic Doug Walker portrays Jimmy Weeks, A NYPD Detective assisting Richtofen. WWE Minority Owner Stephanie McMahon cameos as NYPD Detective Kate Collins and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon appears as Judge Hawthorne.
Other cameos include James Rolfe, founder of Cinemassacre and creator of The Angry Video Game Nerd, appears as a News Anchor reporting on the Sokovia Accords, Dusty Rhodes as an off-duty police officer, Steven Williams, better known as Boogie2988, as Willy, A Night Club Guard, Roddy Piper as a wrestling announcer, Kevin Nash reprising his role as The Russian, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as NYPD Officers, Sean Waltman as The Russian's manager, Sonny Strait, Cynthia Cranz, Tiffany Vollmer, Lewis Lovhaug, Bryce Papenbrook, and Dolph Ziggler as pedestrians getting interviewed about Jigsaw's corruption, Beau Bridges as Dr. Worbush, Shawn Michaels as a News Anchor, Rikishi as Cristu Bulat, The Usos as Cristu's Bodyguards, Scott Hall as James Russoti / Loony Bin Jim, and Andy Samberg as Scott Hoyt / Phantom, a character that appeared in Season 2 of Blackbird.
Filming began in May 2015 and filmed back-to-back in Atlanta with Captain America: Civil War, which started filming in April. Filming wrapped in Early September 2015.
The film received critical acclaim, with praise going to the performances of Cortez, Wiig, Hawke, Cox, DiCaprio, and Ferrell, as well as the action scenes and screenplay. It has an 87% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was also a box office success, grossing $120 million on its opening weekend.