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Scott Adkins On The Marvel Role He Thinks He'd Be Perfect For - Exclusive

Scott Adkins isn't proud of his first Marvel Comics movie go-round. 

Like most of the folks associated with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he's managed to have a great sense of humor about the 2009 film's shortcomings, hilariously lampooned most prominently by Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds made his first appearance as Deadpool in X-Men Origins, where the "Merc with a Mouth" was infamously silenced before the final showdown with Hugh Jackman's Wolverine. 

Adkins, best known as the star of the Undisputed series and a slew of straight-to-video action vehicles, was Reynolds' stunt-double.

He later appeared in Doctor Strange as evil henchman Lucian (a dark devotee of interdimensional threat Dormammu) and recently shared that he regrets taking the role, lamenting, "I feel I've blown my chance to be in the Marvel [Cinematic] Universe." But in an exclusive interview with Looper, Adkins revealed the Marvel hero he'd love to play if given the chance. Or, to put it more accurately, the antihero

"I mean, it's a funny thing, because you get asked these questions and the truth is as soon as you put it out into the public that you want this part in a Marvel movie or DC thing, people are ready to just jump all over you and tear you to pieces," he admits. "But you know, whatever! Here we go. You ready?"  

Why Scott Adkins would love to play The Punisher

The role Adkins would love to play in the MCU is that of troubled vigilante antihero Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher. Adkins first discovered The Punisher as a child growing up in England. "I think I would do a great version of The Punisher. I think that would suit me down to the ground," he says. "It's a character that's been played quite a few times now, of course." 

He's certainly not wrong. Dolph Lundgren played Frank Castle in 1989's The Punisher, which confusingly took the character out of his signature skull costume. Thomas Jane took on the role for a 2004 reboot, which confusingly took the character out of his familiar New York environment and placed him in Florida, for some reason, though it did somewhat faithfully adapt parts of the iconic comic stories The Punisher: Year One and Welcome Back, Frank. After a few years of trying to get a sequel off the ground, Jane eventually threw in the towel and moved on. Ray Stevenson was next up to bat in 2008's ultra-violent The Punisher: War Zone, which failed to make much of an impression upon release (but has developed a cult following in the years since).

Jane returned for the short film Dirty Laundry which, while not officially sanctioned by Marvel, received a warm reception at San Diego Comic Con in 2012. But it wasn't until the rights to the character and his supporting cast returned to Marvel that Frank Castle really got his due, courtesy of The Walking Dead star Jon Bernthal, who played The Punisher in Season 2 of Netflix's Daredevil and two seasons of a subsequent spinoff series. 

"Jon Bernthal has done a fantastic job," Adkins conceded. (In fact, Jane even expressed an interest in directing Bernthal in the role during a December 2020 interview.) "But that was always [a character] where I thought, 'You know, I could see myself playing that,' with the look, but also the intensity of the character and the brutality." 

To be fair, Frank Castle isn't the only Marvel character who's been passed down among various actors. Stevenson followed War Zone with a supporting role in the Thor films as Volstagg of the Warriors Three. Chris Evans was the Human Torch in two Fantastic Four movies for Fox before the creation of the MCU. Meanwhile, Gemma Chan will soon appear in Eternals as Sersi after playing Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel.

Even if it isn't The Punisher, Adkins love to have another crack at the MCU in some form. 

"Spider-Man was always my guy growing up," he adds. "I loved those comic books as a kid, grew up on those comic books. My grandmother would buy me these comic books. Every weekend we would go to her house and there'd always be a new Marvel comic, mostly Spider-Man, but sometimes we'd have Thor, The Hulk, The Punisher, or Daredevil. I grew up on that stuff. Loved it."

Adkins can be seen in the action-comedy The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, available via video-on-demand now.