John Travolta to be Marvel-ous Villain

05/14/2003 01:00PM

Spider-Man and the X-Men aren't the only heroes Marvel Comics is delivering to the big screen.

John Travolta has signed on to play a villain in "The Punisher," an adaptation of the Marvel comic book that has "Dreamcatcher" star Thomas Jane, 34, in the title role, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The Punisher, also known as Frank Castle, is a former Vietnam Marine turned vigilante hero who dispenses his own brand of harsh justice to criminals after his wife and children are murdered by the mob.

His motto is, "If you are guilty, you are dead," and in the comics, his logo is a big skull emblazoned on his chest.

Travolta, 49, will play the character Howard Saint, an underworld figure who conceals his violent past to become a paragon of society -- until his son is murdered and Saint's dark side re-emerges, according to the trade paper.

Shooting is scheduled to start in July in Florida.

Meanwhile, in other movie casting news, Andy Garcia, 47, will play the great Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani in "Modigliani" a $12 million film scheduled to start shooting May 25 in Romania, the Reporter says.

The movie will deal, in part, with the rivalry between Modigliani and Pablo Picasso in Paris at the end of World War I.

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