We sat down with “Kill The Irishman” star Ray Stevenson yesterday, and while we discussed the upcoming Jonathan Hensleigh thriller, we also had to ask about being a cog in the mighty Marvel filmmaking machine. The once (and future?) “Punisher” has the role of Volstagg in this summer’s “Thor,” a hefty, bearded pugilist that brings color to the group known as the Warriors Three. But could Volstagg appear in the future?
“I’ve got a three picture deal,” says Stevenson, who was excited for the chance to be larger-than-life for director Kenneth Branagh. “My agent said, people won’t recognize you. And I said, I don’t give a damn! Who else is gonna give me a chance to put a big fatsuit on and ham it up? And I said to Ken Branagh, I was nervous, and he said, you can’t be too loud! So I said fine, I’ll dip my toe into the river of ham. And he said, trust me, I’ve swam in that river many times. You enjoy that!”
Stevenson also suggested he may be a candidate to return as the Punisher, the vigilante he played in the poorly-received “Punisher: War Zone.” Regarding discussions with Marvel over the fate of Frank Castle, Stevenson said, “We have talked a bit. We have met about it. I would love to do it. We can definitely bring back Frank to the screen.” He warned that such negotiations may be premature, considering the shifting rights of the character. “I think they’ve just got the property back, it was with Lionsgate.” Though Stevenson memorably returned to voice the Punisher in Marvel’s animated “Superhero Squad” series, suggesting there are fond feelings on both sides.
Stevenson has another project coming this fall as well. “I just did ‘Three Musketeers‘ in 3D, that’s coming out,” Stevenson crowed. “Paul Anderson directed, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun, lots of flashing swords. My Porthos is a sexy hedonist with a tendency towards violence.” Yep, sounds like Dumas!
“Kill The Irishman” hits theaters this Friday. Look for more from our interviews with cast and crew later this week.