Marvel Comics is the home of numerous brightly colored superheroes, from the wisecracking and acrobatic Spider-Man, to the berserker Wolverine, to the Star-Spangled Avenger Captain America. All of these characters have the potential for telling dark, serious drama, but the vast majority of their appearances tend to be more fun and swashbuckling than dreary or depressing. By that same token, Marvel and the Marvel Comics Universe is also home to one of the most hard-edged vigilante characters ever devised, who has been a home to both the irreverent as well as the disturbing. That character is, of course, Frank Castle: the Punisher.
There’s a storied history of the Punisher being connected with Marvel’s Man Without Fear, Daredevil, who will see his new Netflix series debut later this month. The showrunner on “Daredevil,” Steven DeKnight, recently spoke with SciFiNow about that show, and the conversation surprisingly turned to another Marvel character. He said,
I’ve been a huge fan of the Punisher comics for years. I’d love to see him get his due on a platform like this. Nothing would delight me more than to see the Punisher get his own show and maybe we could convince Marvel to go Hard-R rating. If any character deserves an R rating, it’s the Punisher.
DeKnight wasn’t the only one enthusiastic about the idea, either. Actor Charlie Cox, Daredevil himself, said that he was told something early on in the show’s production that helped put the Man Without Fear’s struggle into a greater context for him. He said,
Steven DeKnight said that Daredevil is one bad day away from being the Punisher. I thought that was really helpful. Again, it adds to the dark tone, and I think it’s more interesting to watch.
After the release of 2004’s The Punisher starring Thomas Jane and 2008’s Punisher: War Zone starring Ray Stevenson, Marvel Studios regained the film rights for the character after Lionsgate failed to make any new productions with the character. While Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige hasn’t indicated that the Punisher would be anything resembling a priority for the studio, a future exploitation of the Punisher under the umbrella of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is certainly a legal possibility. It likely depends most on the right creative team having the right vision. Still, most fans would likely lose their minds if Frank Castle showed up in Hell’s Kitchen on the new show.
“Marvel’s Daredevil” begins streaming its first season on Netflix this coming April 10th. For more on this and other developments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, keep an eye on GeekNation!
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