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Jon Bernthal made his debut as Frank Castle in Season 2 of Daredevil and it wasn’t long before Netflix ordered a solo series, aptly titled The Punisher. Unfortunately, Netflix cancelled The Punisher in February of this year after just two seasons. Bernthal, however, isn’t interested in letting the character go anytime soon and wouldn’t say no to transitioning his character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now that Kevin Feige has been promoted to Marvel’s chief creative officer and Marvel has set the schedule for the next phase of MCU films, audiences have been wondering whether the characters who appeared throughout all of the Marvel Netflix series have a shot at being in the MCU. Like most comic book actors, Jon Bernthal was asked about this possibility.
In an appearance at Fandemic Tour Houston (via ComicBook), The Punisher actor made clear he doesn't have any specific character in mind that he'd like to play in the near future, but he would still want to play Frank Castle.
I don’t know what the next great thing is, so I don’t have my eyes on, ‘I want to play the Hulk,’ or some shit like that. If something comes to me, and it’s written well, and it’s with people I really want to roll with, I’m gonna roll. And if it’s not, I’m not gonna do it. … I don’t have my eyes on any of them, but if something cool came around, let’s talk about it. I love Frank, too. I really don’t have any desire to move off of him.
I mean, you know I can’t talk about that.
Jon Bernthal also jokes that Marvel would break the news to fans before he ever got wind of it. Still, Bernthal isn’t against the idea of appearing in the MCU and if the creatives at Marvel did right by Frank Castle, then he’d be onboard.
It’s all about Frank. He needs to be portrayed in a very certain way, in my opinion, and he means so much to so many people in the comic book community, and the law enforcement community, and the military community. In my opinion, you don’t just do a Punisher, you don’t just do a Frank Castle thing, you know? You gotta do it right, and you gotta respect what he stands for, what he’s all about. To me, if that works out, then I’ll jump in with everything I have. And if not, I’m not gonna.
Jon Bernthal's a talented actor, though, so he could play any character in the Marvel universe, but when asked if he would ever want to play anyone else in the MCU, his answer was simple.
I want to play Frank Castle.
That sounds fair enough, even though there aren’t any actual plans to transition The Punisher to the big screen. Even if Kevin Feige and Marvel wanted Frank Castle in the MCU, Netflix made sure that the character couldn’t appear in any live-action adaptation for at least two years after cancellation. Ouch.
That means that every Marvel Netflix show cancelled between October of last year and February of this year — including Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil — won’t be showing up anywhere in the Marvel universe for a while.
In fact, Marvel's future on traditional network television isn’t looking all that bright in general. With the loss of head of Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb, the effects of his departure and of Kevin Feige's promotion are already being felt.
Last month, Hulu completely dropped their plans for a Ghost Rider series and Freeform announced recently that it was cancelling Cloak and Dagger after just two seasons. This definitely puts the future of Marvel’s The Runaways in doubt, though the leading characters of Cloak and Dagger are still scheduled to crossover to the Hulu series in Season 3.