Seemingly confirming last week’s rumors, The Punisher is coming to the Marvel universe. It was announced today that the character will make his MCU debut in season two of Marvel’s Daredevil, and he’ll be played by none other than The Walking Dead actor Jon Bernthal. Probably best known as Shane on the first two seasons of the AMC zombie series, Bernthal has done fine work on the film side since then with roles in The Wolf of Wall Street and David Ayer’s WWII pic Fury and upcoming appearances in the Sundance indie Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and the critically acclaimed thriller Sicario. But it appears that he’s now poised to jump into the superhero world.
For those unfamiliar, Frank Castle aka The Punisher is a vigilante who aims to clean up Hell’s Kitchen by any means necessary, no matter the results. He should provide a fine foil for Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, a vigilante of a different sort but with the same goal in mind. Indeed, Marvel’s Head of Television Jeph Loeb had this to say about Castle’s entry into the Daredevil world:
“Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation and vulnerability that will connect with audiences. Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same.”
All Marvel TV actors have options in their contracts to appear in feature films, so it’s certainly possible that Bernthal could find himself fronting a Punisher movie, but not necessarily likely. It’s no secret that there’s been some contention between Marvel TV and Marvel Studios, with the latter being thus far uninterested in blending the two worlds on the big screen. But again, things could change, and as someone who wasn’t necessarily crazy about Daredevil, I think Bernthal’s casting makes Season 2 much more interesting.
Steven S. DeKnight acted as showrunner for the Netflix series’ first season, taking over for Drew Goddard who departed before production began. But DeKnight himself left the show at the close of Season 1, and is now working as part of Paramount’s “writer’s room” for upcoming Transformers sequels and spinoffs. In his stead, Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie are now executive producers and showrunners for Daredevil Season 2 after penning a number of episodes of the show’s initial run.
Marvel’s second Netflix series, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, premieres on Netflix later this year, with Daredevil Season 2 poised to follow in 2016.