When it came to the Netflix Universe of Marvel characters, one of the true bright spots, relatively speaking, was Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle/ Punisher. Appearing first as the antagonist, and then very much a protagonist in the second season of Daredevil, he was easily the best version of the character we had seen on the big or small screen. And it was going to be disappointing if the role was recast when that group of characters moved to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only is that not the case, but the Giant Freakin Robot exclusive has also been confirmed by Small Screen and Bernthal is returning in a rebooted Punisher series for the MCU. If there was going to be any character to move over from Netflix, Bernthal was definitely the guy.
This new Marvel Punisher series with Jon Bernthal in the lead could be further along than originally expected as well. According to the Small Screen reporting, there is already a script in hand and the negotiations to bring Bernthal back as the character are nearing the finish line. Small Screen says that the show will trend extremely violent, making it possibly the most bloody series to date within the Marvel Universe. This is notable for a couple of reasons, but primarily because it possibly signals a willingness on the part of the Marvel folks to work MCU stories off of Disney+ and on to Hulu when the content lines up better for the latter.
Additionally, in this Jon Bernthal as Punisher news, there was the possibility that we will first see the character debut with a cameo in the upcoming Moon Knight series. This is also supposed to be a darker and possibly more violent series, though it will be on Disney+ so it isn’t likely to go all the way into the R-rating. But that should be our first look, again, at Bernthal in the iconic skull shirt. After that, a series should be in order for Punisher, rebooting his story in a new timeline, an alternate universe from the Netflix series. Small Screen said this wouldn’t pick up from where Netflix left off, but rather begin anew with the character in some respect to align him with the current Marvel Universe.
Jon Bernthal originally appeared as Punisher in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil. Starting as something of a foe to Charlie Cox’s character, the two quickly realized they were mostly aligned in their respective missions even if they had different ends to justify their individual means. Punisher was happy to take things to their most violent and bloody conclusions in the name of justice, something Daredevil didn’t see necessarily as acceptable. And this struggle, especially with how Jon Bernthal handled the character was masterful. He was both rage-filled and tortured, methodical yet quick to action. It was awesome.
Netflix did spin Jon Bernthal and Punisher into a standalone series as well which lasted for two seasons on the streamer. It gave more backstory on the character, the reasons behind his quest for revenge, and the tragedy that had befallen his family, leading him down the darker superhero/ vigilante path. But when Netflix canceled it, along with its other Marvel properties, it set the clock ticking for when Punisher and others could join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That time is coming soon and this word about a Punisher series is a welcome set of news. Bernthal is perfect and it would have been tough seeing something else reboot the role.