When Marvel Studios and Netflix announced a deal back in late 2013, the idea was for the two companies to collaborate on five different shows: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders. That all changed after the second season of Daredevil, however. Jon Bernthal made such an incredible impression with his turn as Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher in those episodes that Marvel and Netflix have decided to add to their original plans by giving the beloved character his very own series.
Over the last few months, we've heard a number of announcements and rumors about The Punisher Netflix show, but because keeping all of that information together can be tricky, we're here to help. Below and on the following pages, we've gathered absolutely everything we know about the series so far, and collected all of it into one easy-to-read guide. Who is making The Punisher show? Who will star in it? What will it be about? Read on, and get all the answers you desire and more!
When Is The Punisher Release Date
The roll-out plan for Netflix's Marvel Studios shows has always been... complicated. Since launching Daredevil in 2015, the streaming service has had tremendous success with the brand, but been forced to make tough decisions about when to release the new season of an established show versus a brand new series. Because of this, the company has been hesitant to make big release date announcements -- which actually runs in contrast with the notorious flag-planting that Marvel Studios' film division has been practicing for years.
To get to the point, right now The Punisher doesn't have an official release date -- though it does look as though we could see the series come out some time in 2017, which would be a big deal. To date, we have never seen more than two Marvel Netflix shows come out in a calendar year, and it's already been announced that Iron Fist will come out in the first half -- specifically on March 17, 2017 -- and that The Defenders will be coming out in that 12 month stretch as well. That being said, The Punisher is already filming, which typically suggests that it is only months away from being in front of audiences. Because of the way things are run, it's possible that we won't have a Punisher release date until after The Defenders come out, so you'll have to be patient for a firm answer to this question.
What Is The Punisher Story?
Those of you who watched the aforementioned Daredevil Season 2 (which I assume is at least 90% of you), already got a taste of who Frank Castle is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Played by Jon Bernthal, Frank is an ex- Special Forces Marine who served his country in the Iraq War, and came home alive-but-weary to a loving family. This reunion didn't last long, however, as, one day after his return, a day of fun in Central Park turned into a bloody massacre, as his wife and two children were killed. Frank himself was left with a bullet in his head, but he survived, and after escaping machinations within the District Attorney's office to have him killed, he took to the streets a new man. Unable to just stand by as more innocent lives were taken by terrible people, he launched his own one-man war against crime in New York City and became The Punisher.
This just about catches you up to where things were left with the character the last time we saw him -- the controversial anti-hero donning his classic skull logo and stocking up on weapons -- but we don't really know much about what's going on with him in The Punisher show itself. As you'll learn as you continue to read this feature, we know some of the characters who Frank will be interacting with, but we don't really know what the plot of the series will be to connect them all together.
Who Is The Showrunner?
Writer/producer Steve Lightfoot has now been working in the film and television industry for more than a decade, but will be making his first venture into the world of comic book adaptations with his work on The Punisher. It's been officially confirmed that Lightfoot will not only be serving as the showrunner and executive producer on the series, but he is also going to be personally scripting the first two episodes and helping audiences dive head first into Frank Castle's world.
Admittedly Steve Lightfoot isn't a big household name, but his credits give audiences plenty of reason to be confident in what he'll be bringing to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He's most recently been working as a consulting producer and writer on the Netflix series Narcos, but before that he spent a few years of his life as one of the most active writers on Bryan Fuller's Hannibal. His work on that acclaimed horror series could suggest that while part of us roots for Frank Castle's vigilante ways in the Punisher show, we also may have to watch his bloody and violent actions from between our fingers (and in our nightmares).