This year, “Daredevil” premiered on Netflix as the darkest outing yet for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a world inhabited by the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, dealing with broad scale and swashbuckling action, “Daredevil” brought things down to the harsh concrete of Hell’s Kitchen in New York City in grand fashion. Now though, it’s about to go even darker.
According to Marvel themselves, actor Jon Bernthal (“The Walking Dead,” Fury) has been cast as none other than Frank Castle, better known to comic book and movie fans as the harsh vigilante called “the Punisher.” Marvel made the announcement earlier today, ending speculation about the character’s possible inclusion in the popular series, as well as in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at-large.
In regards to other media explorations, the Punisher was last under the purview of Lionsgate, who made two films featuring the character: 2004’s The Punisher starring Thomas Jane as the criminal-killer was arguably the more successful effort, and it was followed upon in 2008 by director Lexi Alexander’s Punisher: War Zone starring Ray Stevenson in the title role. After Lionsgate released Punisher: War Zone, their failure to follow it up with another film in a certain amount of time led to Marvel Studios regaining the rights to the character. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had commented that the studio was looking at ways to exploit the character in the future, but had yet to commit to anything.
For those unfamiliar with Frank, most iterations characterize him as a war veteran who returns home after a long tour of duty. Having a picnic with his family in Central Park, Frank, his wife, and two children are caught in the crossfire of a mob war that breaks out. Watching his family murdered by the mob presence deadens him inside, and he begins using his immense military skill and intimate knowledge of how to torture and kill by hunting down killers, mobsters, sadists, and others who put innocent people at risk. Frank isn’t out for a noble goal of urban pacification. He’s out for blood, and he transforms into a symbol that the underworld fears as he becomes the Punisher.
No details are currently available on the extent of Bernthal’s appearances on the show’s second season, whether its in a recurring role or in a guest spot for a specific number of episodes. Bernthal is no stranger to comic book fans, having played Shane in the first and second seasons of “The Walking Dead,” and basically looking like the spitting image of one of artist Tim Bradstreet’s iconic Punisher covers (above) makes this casting all the more obvious.
“Daredevil” is expected to return next spring with Charlie Cox in the title role, with Rosario Dawson also returning as Claire Temple. For more on the show’s second season as it develops, keep it locked on GeekNation! See Marvel’s officially released promo image below.
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