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Jon Bernthal wants to play Little Mac in a Punch-Out movie

Punisher's Jon Bernthal would love to crack skulls in a Punch-Out adaptation

Actor Jon Bernthal’s latest role is the villainous Cole Walker in Ghost Recon Breakpoint, but the Punisher and Walking Dead star told us that he’s interested in playing a different sort of video game character in the future: Little Mac from Punch-Out.

Speaking about Ghost Recon Breakpoint on Digital Trends Live on Thursday, Bernthal said he’s a fan of video games from the ’80s and would love to bring his acting chops to the role of the tiny boxer from the classic NES game.

“What I’ve been playing with the kids is Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out,” he said when host Greg Nibler asked what video game character he’d like to play in a movie or TV adaptation. “Little Mac, he’s really small, but that would be really cool I think — his rise up through the ranks.”

Little Mac is tiny, as his name implies, but packs quite a punch. He’s still around in modern games, including as a very dangerous fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch.

Bernthal also said he would be interested in a part in a hypothetical Castlevania film. The series is currently being adapted into an animated drama for Netflix, with two seasons already produced.

“I really dug that game Castlevania,” he said. “I’m old-school, I’m probably aging myself here, that’s sort of the limits of my video game knowledge.”

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint: The Pledge Ft. Jon Bernthal | Live Action Trailer Ubisoft [NA]

While he’s not up on the latest games, Bernthal told us that there’s one classic video game that he can’t resist.

“I really like Galaga,” he said. “Still, if I see Galaga in the old-school arcade, it’s hard for me to pass that one by — I’m still very much into that.”

Speaking about the development process for Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Bernthal said that he worked with green beret Emil Daubon, who is a writer and military technical adviser for the game, in order to get insight for his character. Bernthal’s Cole Walker is a former Ghost operative who became disillusioned with the rules and moral compass by which he was forced to abide. This eventually leads to him establishing the “Wolves,” a private military force that takes over the utopian technological island of Auroa.

Bernthal said that he was “blown away” by the passion of the Ubisoft development team, which includes staff from all around the world. The end result was impressive, but he told Digital Trends that he’s not a big fan of seeing himself on-screen, even as a motion-captured video game character.

“I thought maybe I could sort of tolerate my big ol’ nose and my giant ears on mo-cap better than I can on film and television, but it was equally as revolting to me,” Bernthal said. “But the process of it was really interesting. I was staggered. I was blown away by the technicians.”

Ghost Recon Breakpoint will be available on Friday, October 4 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. It will also be coming to the Google’s Stadia streaming platform at a later date.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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