Bad news for the Punisher posse: After a few years of waiting for Lionsgate to give The Punisher 2 a green light, actor Thomas Jane has decided to move on and worry about other gigs. Early word was that the sequel would be decidedly darker and more action-packed than its flat-footed predecessor, and Jane seemed more than amped to leap back into the role of Frank Castle and turn the series around. And then ... nothing.

And now comes something that looks like the final word: According to AICN's Quint, who recently received an email from Mr. Jane, the actor is done done done waiting around for his Marvel sequel ... but he doesn't exactly say WHY, either: "I am, sadly – no, make that heartbrokenly – f*** it - just rip out the heart and stomp it into the pavement a couple of times – pulling out ... What I won't do is spend months of my life sweating over a movie that I just don't believe in. I've always loved the Marvel guys, and wish them well."

So what this tells me -- keeping in mind that this is pure conjecture on my part -- is that Lionsgate wants to stick on the PG-13 track if they make a Punisher follow-up. And maybe even go the direct-to-video route, which is something Mr. Jane probably wouldn't dig. Between The Mist and The Mutant Chronicles, the guy's on his way up ... and doing just another lame-o sequel might be counter-productive at this point. (Plus he's also got Killshot on the way, which has been sitting on a Weinstein shelf for well over a year now.) Check out Tom's entertainingly rambly email message right here.