Jon Bernthal’s Marvel Return Confirmed?

A man training with Jon Bernthal may have confirmed the Punisher returning in Marvel's Phase 5.

By Mark McKee | Published

Jon Bernthal joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe when he appeared as a secondary villain in the Netflix series, Daredevil, playing the anti-heroic vigilante Frank Castle, AKA, Punisher. After he butts heads with Matt Murdock, AKA, Daredevil (Charlie Cox), over their different methods, Castle finds himself incarcerated and eventually on the path to getting revenge on those responsible for the death of his family, landing himself two seasons of his own in a spin-off on Netflix. Bernthal’s portrayal of Frank Castle was different than others in the way he accomplished the depth of a character facing immense amounts of grief and brutality of a character bent on retribution. While the brutality seemed to be the reason fans wouldn’t see Bernthal return to the MCU at Disney, an Instagram post gives them hope he’ll appear in Phase 5. 

The post shows somebody named Kasey O’Keefe posing next to Jon Bernthal with a caption telling him that he can’t wait to meet him in Marvel’s Phase 5, suggesting that the actor will make his Disney debut along with his Netflix co-star in the next phase. It is important to note that the same account has this fan, listed as an actor with one credit on his IMDb page, rubbing elbows with many actors such as Oscar Issac Jessica Chastain, and Willem Defoe, each one with a similar caption about working together. Whether or not this is any actual indication of Bernthal’s plans to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or just a fan manifesting online, it indeed gives us fans hope that their patience is about to pay off. 

jon bernthal punisher

With Charlie Cox appearing as Daredevil in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and Vincent D’Onofrio appearing in Hawkeye, it seems as though Disney is starting to pull their characters from their Netflix shows to blend them into their streaming properties. There are already two more series set to arrive on Disney+ soon; with Cox reprising his role as the Man Without Fear in Daredevil: Born Again and Alaqua Cox getting her own spin-off with Echo, there seems to be plenty of room for Jon Bernthal to return to Marvel and bring Punisher back from the shelf. And with Daredevil appearing in all of them, there seems to be another possibility setting up that makes Punisher an even more likely prospect. 

In the comics, Daredevil put together a team of characters to battle for New York, including Moon Knight, Punisher, and more; with Charlie Cox appearing in all the recent series, could he be setting himself up to be the leader of another team? While The Defenders wasn’t the culmination of the Netflix series they were hoping for, there is still a chance that the concept of a team-up can work. With Daredevil as the leader, Moon Knight, Echo, She-Hulk, and the addition of Jon Bernthal’s Marvel debut in The Punisher, they would have a formidable team to take the place of The Avengers. Only time will tell if Kasey O’Keefe’s manifestation leads to the return of Frank Castle. 

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