With the potential to be the most brutal TV spinoff in history, The Punisher has a lot to live up to, but actor Jon Bernthal's performance as the antihero in Daredevil Season 2 has us confident good things are coming. Thankfully, the show is building up a sweet cast around him, and today brought the announcement of a whopping five new actors who have been cast in the war-torn Season 1, including what might be the show's first big villain.
Nurse Jackie regular Paul Schulze has been tapped to play Rawlins, who's described as a high-ranking CIA member who bumps heads with Frank Castle over operations in Afghanistan. As created by Garth Ennis over 20 years ago, Rawlins had his hands extremely dirty within the CIA involving drugs and other crimes, though Russia was the location on the page that tied Punisher and Rawlins together. The announcement didn't directly state that Schulze would be playing the villain, but given no other antagonists have been announced yet, it seems highly likely to me.
Another Punisher character cast straight out of the comics is Curtis Hoyle, who will be played by up-and-coming actor Jason R. Moore. Interestingly, he's described as a friend of Frank Castle's, as well as one of the few people who are aware he's still alive. In the comics, though, things weren't so amicable. Although that story involved the Vietnam War, and this new series will be set far after that conflict, so maybe it's a big change to a smaller character. Or there will be a villainous twist later in the season.
Jaime Ray Newman, a TV vet known most recently for shows such as Bates Motel and Major Crimes, will play Sarah Lieberman, the wife of comic character Microchip. Or David Lieberman if you want to say it that way. Microchip is an ally of Frank's in the gear department, and Sarah's life has been made far too complicated thanks to her marriage to him.
Actor Daniel Webber, who was solid as Lee Harvey Oswald in Hulu's 11.22.63, will play young veteran Lewis Walcott. Lewis isn't having the easiest time getting back into civilian mode after his time on the battlefield, but it isn't clear how that will play into The Punisher's mission.
Amber Rose Revah was previously cast as Homeland agent Dinah Madani, and now we know that her partner in justice Sam Stein will be portrayed by Michael Nathanson of The Knick. Things apparently aren't the smoothest where their partnership is concerned, and Sam feels challenged by Dinah.
With a cast that also includes Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Amber Rose Revah and Daredevil's Deborah Ann Woll, The Punisher is currently in some form of production, though we'll be waiting a while to see it officially join the Marvel TV universe, since Netflix also has Iron Fist, The Defenders and more to push out to viewers first. But we'll probably get to see Bernthal busting skulls by the time 2017 ends. Here's what else Netflix will be bringing us next year in our premiere schedule.