After killing criminals on the big screen three times, Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, is making his small screen debut next month in Daredevil Season 2. Played by Fury’s Jon Bernthal, the gun-toting vigilante is serving as Matt Murdock’s main foil this season, but as Marvel fans know, Punisher is popular enough to continue his crusade against crime in his own series. There’s been talk over the past couple months over whether Marvel would pull the trigger (so to speak) on such an endeavor, and in a recent interview, Jon Bernthal revealed exactly what he thinks about a potential Punisher series. In his words:
This guy is very much burned into my heart and soul. I think about him all the time. And I look at it the same way Frank would look at it. I’m a soldier, man. If they call on me, I’ll stand to attention and I’ll be ready.
While touching on how Punisher fits into Daredevil Season 2, Bernthal told Empire that the character means so much to him now that if the Marvel execs approached him with a solo series, he would be ready to go.
Unfortunately, while the prospect of Punisher striking out on his own in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is an exciting one, it doesn’t look like it’s coming anytime soon, as Executive Vice President Jeph Loeb debunked the recent Punisher series rumors earlier this week. It’s certainly possible that one day Jon Bernthal will get to lead a Punisher show, but it makes sense that the Marvel folks want to wait to make any decisions concerning the character's future. Unlike Luke Cage, who was already set to star in his own series when it when it was decided he would appear in Jessica Jones, Punisher is a late addition to the Netflix side of the MCU, so it’s going to take longer to figure out where he’s going.
If early reviews are to be believed, he’ll be one of the highlights in Daredevil Season 2, but Marvel is likely waiting to see how the public reacts to him first, and then the company should be able to figure out where to put him next. Besides, in addition to Luke Cage, Marvel still has Iron Fist and The Defenders miniseries in the works, as well as Jessica Jones Season 2. The company has enough on its plate on the streaming platform.
In the meantime, Jon Bernthal’s Punisher has enough to keep him busy in Hell’s Kitchen. Like his comic book counterpart, Frank Castle will be waging a one-man war against crime in Daredevil after his family was tragically murdered. Unlike the Man Without Fear, he has no problems snuffing out the bad guys, and it’s this difference in ideologies that will lead to the two vigilantes coming to blows. Should Jon Bernthal get to branch out on his own and take the Punisher into his own TV series, that would provide the opportunity to introduce members of his supporting cast and rogues gallery into the MCU, plus more of what fans love about the character most: watching him blow out the brains of evildoers.
All 13 episodes of Daredevil Season 2 will premiere Friday, March 18 at 12:01 a.m. EST/PST on Netflix.