Great news for fans of one of Marvel’s most controversial “heroes”: We finally have our Punisher!
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Jon Bernthal, whose most notable role to date has been Shane on The Walking Dead, has been tapped to play your favorite mass murderer Frank Castle in season 2 of the wildly successful Netflix show Daredevil. The dark and violent nature of Marvel’s first foray into Netflix originals gave many fans the hope that an appearance by the Punisher was not only possible, but also likely. And now those fans (including yours truly) have been proven right. Frank Castle is definitely a fan favorite, and his featuring in Daredevil brings him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as opens up the possibility of having his own series.
In addition to The Walking Dead, Bernthal has also recently had large roles in critically acclaimed feature films The Wolf of Wall Street and Fury, As Shane in The Walling Dead, Bernthal showed that he could skillfully act an antagonistic character that plays to the protagonist’s team, so to speak. The Punisher, though against criminals (despite being one himself), often comes into conflict with Marvel’s more conventional heroes. I expect Bernthal to do a great job bringing the Punisher’s gruff, combative attitude to the screen.
The Punisher is most certainly a character that will benefit from not having to follow network rules for tamping down violence. Born Francis Castiglione, Frank Castle is an ex-soldier, originally a veteran of the Vietnam War, but due to the sliding timescale of comics, the war he fought in has changed over time. He was trained by the Force Recon division of the United States Marine Corps, and also received training from the Navy SEALs, Airborne School, and Australian SAS. He is an extremely adept marksman, hand-to-hand fighter, and special operator. During a picnic with his family in Central Park, Castle’s wife and two children were killed in the crossfire of a mob shootout. Driven by rage and and a thirst for vengeance, Castle began a war on crime, and is willing to use any tactics, most notably murder, to achieve his goal of eradicating crime.
That fact that he walks the line of morality (I’m being generous here) make Castle a very compelling character, and subject to writer interpretation. The Punisher has been portrayed in many different ways over the years, from insane murderer to righteous warrior, and everything in-between. The question often arises of whether or not what Castle does is moral at all. It will interesting to see in what direction new showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez will take the character, and how often he will come into conflict with our friendly neighborhood blind lawyer.
Images courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, Comicvine, and CinemaBlend