Punisher’s Jon Bernthal Responds To Those Wolverine MCU Casting Rumors

Many fans of Punisher still feel that Jon Bernthal’s run as the gun-toting badass also known as Frank Castle was cut tragically short when the series was cancelled at Netflix after two seasons, back in February 2019. While Bernthal still sounds like he’d be willing to step back into Castle’s bloody boots, a lot of Marvel fans seem to want him to lend his talents to a very different, yet still gruff, hero: Wolverine. Now, the Punisher star has responded to those Wolverine MCU casting rumors.

Marvel fans have been chomping at the bit to get someone attached to Wolverine’s adamantium claws again since Hugh Jackman gave his 17 year tenure in the role a stark send off with Logan in 2017. But, with the X-Men now able to appear in the MCU, the time is ripe for re-casting, and a lot of people really want to see Jon Bernthal take it on. During an interview with Forbes, Bernthal was asked about possibly playing Wolverine, and said:

Look, the criteria in which I sort of decide what I'm doing next is: Does the script move me? Who am I working with? Who is the filmmaker and is that somebody I'm dying to work with? I'm going to hold onto that moving forward no matter what that is.

Alright, so, that’s not a solid no to Wolverine from Bernthal, but it’s not a full-on yes, either, which will likely drive his fans (and those dying to see the mutant with an unstoppable healing power again) a bit nutty. However, not only is that pretty typical for any potential MCU casting, he does make his reasoning for not giving a completely straight-ahead answer clear.

As with a lot of actors, Bernthal is mostly concerned with making sure he’s getting as many opportunities as possible to do work he connects to in some way, that will also have him working with others who want to do interesting work that fuels them creatively. Basically, he might be on board to consider playing Wolverine, but the project as a whole would have to meet his standards first, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

jon bernthal punisher trailer screenshot

(Image credit: Netflix)

Our erstwhile Punisher has spoken a lot over the past several years about how strongly he identifies with Frank Castle and his struggle to bring a variety of Big Bads to justice by way of some (frequently) very hardcore means. In November of 2020, Bernthal said that “he's always a part of me” when talking about Frank, and it does seem that if he’s going to return to the MCU, whether it be on the small screen again or in a film for the first time, he’d rather it be as Punisher. He added:

I get it, I get that the Marvel questions, you're asking these questions because it's super important to a lot of people; people love these characters and I get that and I come to that with absolute respect. What I will tell you again is that Frank Castle is in my bones. Frank Castle is in my bones.

While the jury is still out on Jon Bernthal taking over as Wolverine, even with the MCU having now opened up the multiverse, maybe we’ll get to see his Punisher again. Either way, Marvel fans are sure to be in for an intense treat.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.