Marvel is known for making great casting decisions on the big and small screens, and Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle is the biggest and bloodiest chef's kiss of the bunch. While one's mileage may vary on Netflix's The Punisher as a whole – I happened to love it through rose-tinted glasses – Bernthal's excellence in the titular role is pretty undeniable. The biggest blow of that cancellation was the idea that the Walking Dead vet might never play Frank again, but it sounds like the ever-optimistic Bernthal is giving fans hope that his Punisher could indeed return somewhere for Season 3, or potentially in an MCU film of some kind.
Even if the world weren't still being wrecked by COVID-19, it's not likely a Punisher project would come into existence in the nearest future, all things considered. (More on that below.) But because the Marvel fandom is one that never stops hoping for more from their favorite actors and characters, Jon Bernthal was asked about his possible future with Frank Castle while appearing for a video interview on Geek House Show. To hear him talk about it, it's not a matter of IF The Punisher is coming back in some form, but a matter of WHEN.
Both The Punisher and Jessica Jones were formally cancelled by Netflix back in February 2019, so we're still 3-4 months away from the end of the reported two-year window that has contractually kept Marvel from using Frank Castle, Daredevil, and the other Defenders heroes in any projects. At that point, the studio is allegedly able to bring Frank Castle back to live-action projects, but it's obviously not clear if Kevin Feige has any plans for that. Not only is Marvel's theatrical future completely up in the air along with everything else, but the company still has yet to prove it can pull off episodic television with the upcoming WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, to name the first couple of MCU releases.
Coming out of The Punisher Season 2, both Jon Bernthal and showrunner Steve Lightfoot were absolutely game to continue the story for at least another season. (That bonkers final scene in Season 2 would have been pretty pointless otherwise.) It's just too bad neither one of them were in charge of Marvel TV or Netflix at the time. Bernthal continued in that vein, saying:
While Jon Bernthal isn't in charge of the character and doesn't have final say over where things could go, it sounds like he would very quickly turn a Punisher project down if it didn't mesh well with his ideals for what Frank Castle would be doing. Turning down a bad Punisher series is obviously not the same thing as bringing a good Punisher series to life, but any port in a storm, I guess. Let us know in the poll below if you'd like to see Bernthal return to the gun-blasting and kneecap-shattering vigilante.
While keeping your fingers crossed for potential third seasons or film appearances for Jon Bernthal's Punisher, don't forget you can watch the first two seasons on Netflix, from now until likely the end of time. Check out everything else coming to the small screen later this year with our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule, and look into television and streaming's future with our Winter and Spring 2021 premiere guide.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.