It was recently reported by Deadline affiliate TV Line that Netflix and Marvel are strongly considering making a Punisher series with actor Jon Bernthal, who plays Frank Castle in season two of Daredevil. Although, this hasn’t been confirmed by anyone at Marvel.
Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb briefly commented on the potential series during a press conference panel at the Television Critics Association via SlashFilm.
“Look, I’m never going to discourage a network from looking at one of our characters and encouraging us to do more,” Loeb said of the potential Punisher spinoff.” That’s my job, but it’s certainly not how we enter the arena. We go into the arena to tell a story. If we are lucky enough that through the writing, through the direction, through the actor that people want to see more of that person, terrific. That’s certainly not the beginning and the end goal. The beginning goal is always: what is the best 13 episodes of Daredevil season two?”
It’s really the only official comment from Marvel concerning the recent report, and doesn’t dismiss the potential of it happening. We know that Marvel Television will indeed rollout a second wave of shows eventually, but their current commitments are towards getting Defenders completed due to their original contract with Netflix.
We’ve been championing a Netflix series starring The Punisher since April, when Daredevil was released and there is some major interest in seeing Castle’s military past become apart of his character. You might have noticed that films such as American Sniper and 13 Hours have shown soldiers appropriating the Punisher logo for themselves, mostly Navy SEALS operational during the Iraq War.
Originally, Castle was a Vietnam veteran but due to the logical nature of things Bernthal’s take really can’t use that aspect.
It could be extremely interesting to have a Marvel series that did focus on a character’s military service, and flash forward to where they are currently in the MCU. While I do love seeing Frank takeout mobsters and murders, that can get a little boring and since his time in the military has never been explored this could be the perfect way to dig into his past and give us something different/fresh about him on screen. This might be a great way to honor those service men and women who are obviously huge fans, and gives other fans a take on Frank we really have never seen before.
I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if there ends up a connection between Wil Traval’s Will Simpson aka Nuke from Jessica Jones and Frank Castle. Wil isn’t apart of the cast of Daredevil season two, so it doesn’t seem like that connection will be made there, while it could still happen in the second season of Jessica Jones. Nuke was another Vietnam era character, and could end-up becoming a villain for multiple shows.
He also joins The Thunderbolts, other members include Crossbones, Frank, Elektra, and Taskmaster (recently back at Marvel), so it’s possible he’ll try to redeem himself eventually. A Thunderbolts series has been rumored too, and could be a reason to give Punisher and Elektra their own spin-off series leading to a second team-up series. Altering the line-up could make room for characters like Moon Knight and others.
Guardians of The Galaxy writer-director James Gunn had been very interesting in making a Thunderbolts film, but that talk eventually died-down.
Another aspect could be his trial for murder, which leads to him being placed in prison with inmates that would love to kill him, making for a extremely hostile setting for a series. We don’t know for sure how much of the prison aspect will be in Luke Cage, so having him arrested then defended by Matt Murdock might be the way to go.
While other names have been suggested as potential writers and showrunners for a possible series take on Castle. There’s one person who I think might be best suited, considering how Marvel Television has been hiring showrunners like Steven DeKnight (Spartacus), Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter), Cheo Hodari Coker (Ray Donovan, Southland), and Scott Buck (Dexter).
Writer-director Frank Darabont (The Mist, Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile) seems like the best person to showrun or at least write the 13 episode run of the series. Having experience in both film and television, along with working with Jon on both The Walking Dead and Mob City. This previous working relationship could give him an edge over other candidates. Frank has a excellent handle on the subject matter we’d like to see Marvel tackle with Castle, so hiring him to at least write the series feels like a no-brainer.
It’s only a matter of time before the Netflix lineup starts throwing in other gritty characters like the rumored Moon Knight, Blade, or ones that haven’t been linked like Werewolf By Night or Ghost Rider. They seem to know what their doing so until they give us something we don’t like, we’ll trust their judgement on the rollouts.