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As Marvel Opens Up The Multiverse In No Way Home, Does Jon Bernthal Think Bringing Back The Punisher Is A Good Idea?

Jon Bernthal as Punisher
(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Netflix)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is constantly expanding, and Phase Four has been pretty wild thus far. The multiverse is seemingly being ripped open with projects like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Loki, which may open the door for the return of beloved characters. So does Jon Bernthal think bringing back The Punisher is a good idea?

Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal debuted as Punisher in Season 2 of Daredevil, before being given his own two-season spinoff on Netflix. While the heroes from Netflix’s MCU shows have been missing for years, Kevin Feige recently confirmed to CinemaBlend that Daredevil actor Charlie Cox would be reprising his role sometime in the future. This has led fans to wonder about other heroes like Jessica Jones and Punisher. Bernthal responded to fan hopes he might return to the role of Frank Castle, saying:

That character, in particular, has real, real, real deep, deep meaning for me and resonance in me. He’s really in my heart, man. He’s really in my bones. I’m enormously protective of that character. I’ve said before that there’s nothing in this world more important to me than my wife and my kids, and only until you understand that kind of love and what it really means to willingly die for somebody, [do you understand] what it would be like if somebody took them from you. That’s a road and a darkness and a rage that really, really scares me and brings me to places that I’ve worked the last 20 years to get away from. So I was really grateful, respectful and wary of the places where that role took me and the world in which I had to live in. That being said, that’s where that character needs to be. It needs to be a level of darkness. I think if there’s any let up on that character, you do a disservice to the character, to every iteration of the character, to every comic book that’s come before, and to all of the unbelievable fans of the character. This character means so much to people in the military. So like I said before, it’s not about whether you do the character; it’s about whether you can do it right, and I’m only interested in doing it right.

Well, there you have it. It seems like Jon Bernthal might just be open to playing Punisher again sometime in the future. But he’s not willing to do a PG-13 version of the deadly vigilante. He believes that lightening up Frank Castle would be a disservice to the character, and the countless fans he has out there.

Jon Benrthal’s comments to THR shows how much the character Frank Castle means to the actor, despite The Punisher being cancelled by Netflix back in 2019 after two seasons. This passion definitely translated in his performances, which was both emotional and chilling in equal parts. So if Kevin Feige and the folks at Marvel Studios want to move forward with his version of the antihero, Bernthal has strong feelings about exactly how the character should be handled-- especially if there’s a PG-13 plan for Punisher.

In both the comics and screen, Frank Castle becomes the hero Punisher after suffering an immense personal loss. It’s this anger and hatred that sees him use any means necessary on his missions, including murder and kidnapping. That’s the level of darkness that Jon Benrthal mentions, one that he thinks is essential to an honest characterization of the gun-wielding Marvel vigilante.

There are countless questions about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially with the multiverse seemingly opening new narrative doors. While it remains to be seen if the MCU will ever move forward with a R-rated blockbuster, fans were thrilled to learn that Daredevil would eventually be back, with actor Charlie Cox in tow. Let’s just hope that other beloved Netflix heroes also get to return. Who doesn’t want to see Jon Bernthal’s Punisher finally crossover with the big screen figures of the shared universe?

The next installment in the MCU is Spider-Man: No Way Home on December 17th. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.