While Marvel’s lucrative cinematic universe has continued to make a killing at the box office, it’s been very quietly building out a Netflix empire. Shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones have quickly vaulted it into “prestige drama” territory, and its vision for the future is on par with that ambition. In the coming years, we’ll be getting standalone series for Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders, along with addition seasons for both Daredevil and Jessica Jones. It’s no small feat to be included in Marvel’s grand scheme of streaming superheroes, and soon, The Punisher will be doing just that.
Jon Bernthal first assumed the role of Frank Castle in Season 2 of Daredevil, and quickly became the highlight of the entire arc. It wasn’t long before rumors started to swirl about a separate series entirely, buoyed by Bernthal’s strong performance throughout. Then we finally got official confirmation that Marvel would be adding The Punisher to its Netflix lineup. Details have been scarce since then, but thanks to a recent interview, we finally have our first bits of concrete info.
1. The (rumored) release date
It’s far from official, but if IMDb’s Punisher page isn’t lying to us, we might see the series debut as early as November of next year (2017). In terms of the greater Marvel schedule, that could sandwich it in between Season 2 of Jessica Jones and the debut of Iron Fist (if our own educated guess is correct, there are no confirmed release dates past Luke Cage this September).
Though Marvel has yet confirm the date, Dearbhla Walsh, who directed an episode of the upcoming Punisher series, seemed to corroborate the rumors. “[I’ve directed] one other time that hasn’t been aired yet, which was an episode for the new Marvel series The Punisher, which I did just before Christmas, but it’s not airing until November,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
2. “The Frank Castle you find in this story is not The Punisher”
The quote you see above is pulled straight from a recent interview Jon Bernthal did with Awards Daily, running through Season 2 of Daredevil and his own journey with the character of Frank Castle. In it, he refers to the place in Castle’s timeline the Punisher series will pick up, hinting at more of an origin story than a continuation of his Daredevil role. Bernthal goes on to note how Castle will be “reeling from the loss of his family. He’s driven by rage and is on a singular mission to find these people who took his family from him, and do it as brutally as possible.” Knowing that, it’s likely we see Frank Castle at his most violent, before Matt Murdock restores his sense of humanity at the end of Daredevil‘s second season.
3. The first teaser from Netflix
It may not be a full-on trailer, but hey, we’ll take what we can get at this point. Upon announcing the green light for The Punisher, Netflix threw together a quick 25-second teaser, featuring the iconic skull logo of our antihero, and the creepy nursery rhyme Frank Castle whispers before his murder-sprees. So yeah, it’s not a ton, but it’s enough to get us hyped on the possibilities. Two Punisher movies never quite managed to do the character justice, and it’s refreshing to see the character finally find a home in the middle of Marvel’s golden age of creativity on Netflix.
More recently, first trailer for The Punisher was revealed at the end of Marvel’s The Defenders on Netflix (see below). In the trailer, The Punisher hits a concrete floor with a sledgehammer while a voiceover recounts his tortured past.
— The Punisher (@ThePunisher) September 18, 2017
4. The showrunner
A TV series is only as good as its showrunner, and if that proves true for The Punisher, we could be in for an epic run. Steven Lightfoot will be at the helm as an executive producer, showrunner, and writer for the series, fresh off of his incredible run of work on NBC’s Hannibal. As a writer whose last big assignment was bringing one of the most famous serial killers in horror to life on television, a move to a show starring a violent antihero seems like a natural transition. Lightfoot will pen the first two episodes of The Punisher, and from there will be in charge of all other creative decisions for the series.
5. Why this is a big deal
It’s always exciting when a new superhero series with potential gets the OK. The Punisher is a special case though. Marvel’s original deal with Netflix included Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. A Punisher series was never actually in the original conversation, and only found itself in the new-look lineup after Jon Bernthal’s wildly popular portrayal. It was a performance so powerful, that Marvel and Netflix saw fit to alter their deal to include a brand new series, setting a precedent that kicks the door down for more additions in the future.
6. The series is rumored to feature the Punisher’s sidekick, Microchip
Believe it or not, the Punisher doesn’t actually work alone in Marvel’s comic series. Frank Castle regularly employs the help of David Lieberman, aka Microchip, to build supply weapons, technology, and all manner of hacking-centric assistance. A report from the MCU Exchange talks about a casting call for a character called Dennis Landstrom, a name that many theorize is a placeholder until his true identity is officially revealed. As for who they’re picking to play the part, your guess is as good as ours.
TV Line reports that Ben Barnes has officially been cast in a yet-to-be-determined role, although most theories say he’ll be playing a villain.
Marvel has officially cast Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Frank Castle’s right-hand man Micro, Ben Barnes as Billy Russo (known in the comics as the villain Jigsaw), and Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, an NSA agent tasked with investigating the Punisher.
7. The official logo has been revealed.
The show’s logo has been revealed via the official Punisher Twitter account and can be seen below.
One batch, two batch. pic.twitter.com/OmwmQyRX9w
— The Punisher (@ThePunisher) July 19, 2017
Stay tuned for more Punisher-related info in the coming days, as we’ll be updating this article accordingly!
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