With the group of Marvel’s Netflix characters now joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there have been questions about how these folks would be involved and integrated into the current lineup of movies and series. We are starting to get answers about how Marvel is building out its content and it looks like Jon Bernthal will be part of a new initiative on Hulu. Geekosity has it that the plan is to begin a set of R-Rated series on that platform that will highlight different characters, but also give more latitude when it comes to mature themes, violence, and more.
This latest rumor about Jon Bernthal and The Punisher does make a lot of sense when it comes to how Marvel might be looking to develop content moving forward. Because not all of the characters and storylines are going to fit into the PG and PG-13 Disney world, having another avenue to produce shows that are more in line with the actual characters is something fairly critical. We saw that the Netflix version of The Punisher was every bit the violent and vengeful Frank Castle we saw in the comic books. That would be tough to bring straight over to Disney.
There were some other interesting tidbits in the Geekosity reporting that involved how Jon Bernthal would begin bringing The Punisher into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the series premiering on Hulu, apparently the working title right now will be Punisher War Journal. This would mirror the comic book title used for the character in the late-80s and early-90s. Additionally, it looks like Marvel will reset some of the story from the Netflix version, not wanting to maintain strict continuity with that story. There’s sure to be at least some overlap, but it doesn’t look like they will pick up exactly where that story left off.
This move to put Jon Bernthal on Hulu as The Punisher could be the first of many R-rated programs coming to the Marvel Universe on the streamer. If they are developing the Midnight Sons, which includes Ghost Rider, Helstrom (already on Hulu), and others, they make a lot more sense to go a more mature route in the way the content is structured. Before we get him there, we might see him first debut in a series like Moon Knight to set the stage.
This is a fantastic development where Jon Bernthal and The Punisher are concerned and how he will integrate into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was excellent as the character over on Netflix, every bit the range-filled and calculating Castle whose by-any-mean-necessary approach to vigilantism brought the character to life in a way we really haven’t seen on the screen before. It’s no wonder Marvel head Kevin Feige wanted to bring him over when the Netflix deal expired.
And Jon Bernthal isn’t the only one making the move from the Netflix Defenders group into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Charlie Cox is set to reprise his Matt Murdock / Daredevil role as well. There have been all kinds of rumors about when/ where this will happen. There’s a chance it’s in the Disney+ series She-Hulk, but Spider-Man: No Way Home has been rumored as well.
As for Jon Bernthal, he’s going to reprise The Punisher at some point, but he’s got other roles in the works as well. He just signed on to reboot American Gigolo as a series for Showtime. He’ll pick that story up a few years after the Richard Gere led-movie from the 1980s.