Unlike many Marvel heroes, The Punisher’s cinematic career has been less than stellar, as each of his three films were critical failures for the most part, with 2008’s Punisher: War Zone being his last big screen effort. Back in 2010, Marvel confirmed they re-secured the rights to the Punisher, but there haven’t been any plans to give the vigilante his own movie in the MCU, which isn’t surprising given that Disney wants their superhero films to stay in the PG-13 area. However, Daredevil showrunner Steven DeKnight believes that his upcoming Netflix series may hold the key to seeing Punisher in live-action again.
In an interview with SciFiNow, DeKnight stated that he hoped the darker nature of Daredevil would be able to convince Marvel executives to give Punisher, one of DeKnight’s favorite characters, his own Netflix series. Said DeKnight:
I’ve been a huge fan of the Punisher comics for years. I’d love to see him get his due on a platform like this. Nothing would delight me more than to see the Punisher get his own show and maybe we could convince Marvel to go Hard-R rating. If any character deserves an R rating, it’s the Punisher.
The Punisher is a Marvel character whose M.O. contrasts with the lighter tone of the MCU. After his wife and daughter were killed by gangsters, Frank Castle used his military skills and weaponry to kill those responsible, and then dedicated his life to eliminating all criminals. While he isn’t the only superhero who kills, Punisher’s one-man war on crime is frowned upon by most in the Marvel hero community because his obsession with vengeance often puts others at risk.
All that being said, the previews for Daredevil have shown us that Netflix is a good place for the MCU to delve into darker and grittier stories, which explains why we’ll be seeing so much brutal action over Daredevil’s upcoming 13 episodes. Plus, as Daredevil star Charlie Cox pointed out, the Man Without Fear is already “one bad day away from being the Punisher.” The chances of another theatrical Punisher movie are slim at this point, but if Marvel is willing to let Daredevil let loose with the violence, then Punisher seems like he would be a perfect fit for the online streaming service.
While we may have to wait awhile to hear any news on Punisher’s future in the MCU, Marvel fans can look forward to seeing Daredevil premiere on Netflix April 10, with A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist in the pipeline.