Question: What's the difference between justice and punishment?#DIRTYLAUNDRY
Thomas Jane is back as The Punisher, in Phil Joanou’s #DIRTYLAUNDRY, which premiered at Comic Con during the Raw Studios panel this July. The short, which is available on youtube, will soon reach 2 millions views. On the official Raw Studios Forum, Thomas Jane engaged fans on the making of the short film and the prospect of a future feature film. Here's a collection of the best questions and answers, with exclusive behind the scenes pictures by and (c) Tim Bradstreet.
HDvision : What did it feel like to step back into the part after nearly a decade away?
Thomas Jane: Like slipping in to an old girlfriend. easy and hard at the same time.
HDvision : Who paid for this ?
Thomas Jane: The short was done for absolutely no money. 1984 pictures paid for the location and the food for the crew. That's it! The rest is all Phil Joanou. He pulled in a lot of favors on this - that means everyone who worked on it did it for fun - on their off days. The SFX turned out pretty good for $Free, in my own opinion. Props to the DP Masanobu Takayanagi, who shot THE GREY!
HDvision : Was Phil Joanou your first choice as director?
Thomas Jane: There was never another director considered. I started at the top of my list. Phil was someone I had met because I was such a big fan, and I sought him out. When I put this thing together in my head, I assembled a 'dream team' for this kind of material. Phil Joanou's STATE OF GRACE naturally put him at the top of the list. and for anyone who hasn't seen it, FINAL ANALYSIS is a near perfect film noir. No brainer.
HDvision : Where was the short filmed?
Thomas Jane: Downtown LA. around 8th & Sante Fe ave. LA actually has some really gritty locales, if you know where to look. We didn't have enough security. there's video of Phil personally escorting some crazy man who wouldn't get out of the shot. It was AWESOME. He mad dogged this dude until he got the hell off the set. Epic.
HDvision : Why The Dark Knight score?
Thomas Jane: No money for an original score. I know Phil was worried about peoples attention span because it's an internet short - thats why the use of music. It does its job, but i know that if this were a feature he might have painted it a little differently. We wanted to treat the short like it was a clip from a lost Punisher film. It lives on the 'net as a fan film and that's all it is. So there is no Hollywood money in this thing - just a hell of a lot of talent from everyone involved.
HDvision : What was the deal with Frank taking so long to get involved?
Thomas Jane: Good question. The idea was, Frank is trying to take a breather after one particularly hard mission - which has forced him to blow his hideaway and lose everything - again. Something that Frank is pretty used to by now. He's managed to escape relatively unscathed, but all he's got left is a .45 or two. he's got to rebuild his life all over again. He's stolen a van and parked it on a forgotten street in the ghetto, where he climbs into the back and gets a few hours of much deserved sleep. Morning comes and he decides he might as well wash the blood out of his uniform, and put something in his stomach.
His day hasn't even started yet when sure enough, trouble finds him. again. the last thing he wants to do is get involved with some street punks war party.
HDvision : Why does the bottle not break?
Thomas Jane: A full bottle of Jack will crush a human skull. do not try this at home.
HDvision : Punisher War Zone: what happened?
Thomas Jane: LGF told me they had some foreign money they had to spend that year, so they rushed into production on War Zone without a viable script. Something they realized later was a mistake, and to their credit they apologized to me. They DO want to make good films. They realize that good films make more money. But reality (money) has a way of getting in the way and making it tough. If it were easy, all these films would be great. It ain't easy. It's a freaking miracle anything turns out well.
HDvision : So what is the future of the Punisher films? Will this short change anything?
Thomas Jane: I think we'd need at least 10 million hits to get anybody's attention. One of the reasons I did this was I think that Hollywood has underestimated Frank's fan base. I wanted to see what that fan base really is. I think it's a lot bigger than the box office for the three films has indicated. I think fans were frustrated and disappointed with the way he's been handled, but that don't meant they don't love Frank. The distribution system is dying though. Digital offers so many more choices. Mel Gibson's been talking to me for years about taking down the Man. His mexican prison flick?* 20 million DL's off the PPV. KILLED it. And now Netflix is becoming a major network... A new Punisher film is a pipe dream. We live in different times. Frank is a relic. a stone age brute in black and that's one more reason to make the short -- call it a swan song. But if you want to dream - there is no such thing as a PG13 Frank Castle. No such thing as a television show. And there is no Space Punisher - except in comic books, and I totally get that. Comics should be the wild frontier where anything goes. Because every now and then, you find gold.
Interview compiled by David Fakrikian
Special thanks to Thomas Jane
*Mel Gibson's recent Get the Gringo