Charlie Cox commanded it, and now his will has been done, apparently! Marvel Entertainment has made an earth-shattering surprise announcement just now, confirming that The Walking Dead alum, Jon Bernthal will be portraying none other than Frank Castle, a.k.a. lethal Marvel anti-hero, The Punisher during next year’s second season of mega-hit Netflix series, Daredevil!
This will mark the introduction of The Punisher to the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe, which shares a persistent canon with Marvel’s big screen live-action movies (except X-Men and Fantastic Four, as their screen rights are both fully owned by 20th Century Fox), Marvel’s live-action network television shows on ABC, Marvel’s One-Shot short films, and Marvel’s Netflix Original Series programming. So far, the character’s backstory hasn’t been divulged for his MCU incarnation, though it will no doubt follow the same basic template as the comics. All that’s confirmed so far is that the MCU incarnation of The Punisher will operate in Hell’s Kitchen, allowing him to encounter Daredevil.
In Marvel Comics lore, Frank Castle is a retired war veteran whose wife and child are killed in a botched mob hit. Fueled by vengeance, Frank takes up the mantle of The Punisher, a vigilante that is vicious, brutal and armed to the teeth! Despite having no superpowers of any kind, The Punisher is nonetheless one of the most lethal and dangerous of Marvel’s street-level heroes, having few recurring villains, due to his tendency to use lethal force on his targets. He has had run-ins, both as an ally and adversary, with other Marvel heroes throughout Marvel Comics lore, including Daredevil, Spider-Man and The Avengers. The Punisher also started off as a supporting character in the Amazing Spider-Man comic book series, before spinning off into his own comic books afterward.
Previously, the screen rights to The Punisher were held by movie studio, Lionsgate, who released two self-contained feature film adaptations: The middling 2004 movie, The Punisher, starring Thomas Jane, and the ill-received 2008 reboot movie, Punisher: War Zone, starring Ray Stevenson. After the failure of Punisher: War Zone, Lionsgate returned the screen rights to the character back to Marvel, allowing the character to eventually be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Another very loose (and ill-received) movie adaptation of the character was also released in 1989 by Artisan Entertainment, starring Dolph Lundgren, and also simply titled, ‘The Punisher‘.
Charlie Cox, who plays the title role on Daredevil, listed The Punisher among his wishes for additions in the show’s upcoming second season, alongside another Marvel anti-hero, Elektra, and Daredevil’s assassin nemesis, Bullseye. Both Elektra and Bullseye are rumoured to be in casting at this point, though their presence in Daredevil’s second season, set to launch on Netflix in 2016, is not yet confirmed. Rumour also has it that if Bernthal’s Punisher becomes popular enough among audiences, he could spin off into his own Netflix series as well, similar to Luke Cage, who will headline his own Netflix series after debuting in this year’s other Marvel-produced Netflix show, Jessica Jones.
Keep leaping to Eggplante for all news and updates on Daredevil, and other Marvel Cinematic Universe projects.