The Punisher is a 2004 American vigilante action film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, written by Hensleigh and Michael France. It stars Thomas Jane as the antihero Frank Castle and John Travolta as Howard Saint, a crime boss who orders the death of Castle’s entire family. The film’s story and plot were mainly based on two Punisher comic book stories: the 1994 miniseries The Punisher: Year One by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and the 2000-01 miniseries Welcome Back, Frank by writer Garth Ennis, though some scenes were derived from other Punisher stories, such as Marvel Preview Presents: The Punisher #2, Marvel Super Action Featuring: The Punisher #1, The Punisher War Zone, and The Punisher War Journal. The Punisher was shot on location in Tampa, Florida and environs in mid to late 2003. It was distributed by Lionsgate Films in North America, although Artisan Entertainment, which released a 1989 film adaptation of the same name on DVD, financed and co-distributed the film with eventual Artisan owner Lionsgate, while Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International distributed the film in non-North American territories. Screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh agreed to helm the film during its development stage despite a dispute with Marvel Studios, marking his directorial debut. The Punisher was released on April 16, 2004 by Lionsgate Films, grossing $13 million in the United States over its opening weekend, and reached a total gross of $54 million against a budget of $33 million. The reviews were generally negative. Marvel Comics and Lionsgate began development on a sequel titled The Punisher 2, which instead became the 2008 reboot Punisher: War Zone after Jane and Hensleigh left the project due to creative differences. The film marks the final production by Artisan Entertainment for theatrical distribution.