Unlike any other Netflix series or Marvel TV series to date, The Punisher exists because of the fandom’s love of one character: Frank Castle. Jon Bernthal‘s portrayal of the iconic comic creation in Season 2 of Daredevil was so embraced by fans that it created a spinoff dedicated to more of Castle’s story. The upcoming Punisher may be Netflix’s most anticipated Marvel season yet, and Bernthal feels that pressure. “I want to honor him and the fans to whom he means so much,” he said to EW. “I really want to get this right for them, and the pressure’s on.
Bernthal went on to mention how he also wants to make sure that he also gets Frank Castle’s military story right for the military community that might be watching. As he says, “more than anything, Frank is a soldier.” The new season will also see Castle dealing with the what comes next in his life, after seeing him on a mission to brutally kill everyone involved with the murder of his family.
He’s a man on a mission again [in The Punisher], and what [Punisher showrunner and Hannibal alum Steve] Lightfoot is trying to do is ask the question “What do you do when that’s over? What do you find out about yourself when you realize there’s nothing left? What is his purpose?” There’s an introspective bent in trying to figure that out. He finds something to fight for, something new to believe in.
Bernthal teased that this season will see Frank go to an even darker place, and with it, take the story (and Marvel properties) to somewhere they haven’t been before:
The show takes you on this journey of Frank becoming more and more human again and then shutting off and shutting off and going back to what works for him, and the place where he kind of belongs, and I think that’s a place of solitude and of darkness and destruction. It’s going to get into as dark and as brutal a place as you’ve ever seen in the Marvel world, I can promise you that.
As part of him preparing for this role, Bernthal said he stayed fairly isolated during filming, and wanted to be authentic to the gravity of the character (so not out partying at night and then coming in and playing this tortured soul). You can read more about his comments on filming the new season at the source, but one thing to take away is that Bernthal really, really wants to get this right.
“It might be the Frank Castle inside me, but I’m always thinking things could be headed for the worst. I’m horrified all the time,” he said. “Look, there was an unbelievable response to the Frank we put out there in Daredevil, and it means the world to me, and I’m so grateful, and I do not want to let people down.” Let’s hope The Punisher can eschew the problems of its Marvel-Netflix brethren. For Jonny B!
The Punisher premieres later in 2017.