Will The Punisher & 'Spider-Man' Unite On Screen? It Turns Out They Sort Of Have Before

So far, 2016 is a big year for new characters emerging in the Marvel Universe. Between Captain America: Civil War 's exciting reveal of it's latest version of Spider-Man in the new trailer (played by Tom Holland) and Season 2 of the Netflix hit show Daredevil iset to introduce both Elektra and The Punisher, comic book fans are seeing so many incredible icons come to life on both the big and small screen. However, with all of Marvel's different television shows and movies being released, I'm starting to become curious about where all of it is headed. More specifically, whether or not the team building up in Hell's Kitchen — which includes Jessica Jones, the Daredevil, Iron Fist, and more — is ever going to merge with the team that makes up The Avengers. And, believe it or not, something along the idea of this merge has actually happened before: According to Screenrant, Tom Holland and Jon Bernthal — aka, Spider-Man and The Punisher — both auditioned for their respective Marvel characters together. Yep, there has already been a prior, unofficial (yet still equally as exciting) encounter between the new Spider-Man and The Punisher.

Weird, right?! Well, it happened. As in, Bernthal himself confirmed to NY Daily News that he and Holland made audition tapes together when they were filming a movie together in Ireland. As a result, in some ways, Bernthal was involved in the Spider-Man casting — and Holland was involved in his:

“We were making tapes from Ireland in the process of getting him cast in Spider-Man and then he and I made a tape for The Punisher. During this independent movie that we did in Ireland [Pilgrimage] we were constantly making tapes for Marvel — just acting together… These tapes definitely do exist, you can call Marvel and ask for it, but that’s like breaking into Fort Knox.”

Challenge Accepted.

OK... just kidding. But, seriously, just thinking of both The Punisher and Spider-Man acting together (even if in unofficial terms) does make my fangirl heart skip a beat. Why? Well, perhaps Marvel can take what they have seen in the secret tapes they do have and use that idea moving forward! And what gets my hopes up more? Well, as it turns out, in general the characters of Spider-Man and The Punisher are no strangers to one another. In fact, The Punisher's initial comic book debut occurred outside of the Daredevil comic books — even if that television show is where Marvel is choosing to make his modern day television debut! Instead, the first time fans were introduced to The Punisher (also know as Frank Castle) was in the 1974 number 129 issue of the Amazing Spider-Man comic books. That's right: These two belong together. And with the two actors they ended up casting just happening to be appearing in one another's audition tapes... Well, I'm just a little bit suspicious as to whether or not their chemistry together could have added to the final casting decisions. Seriously, look at this super adorable picture Tom Holland posted on his Instagram from back when they were filming Pilgrimage together:

So, now, here are my next serious questions: If The Punisher and Spider-Man are ever going to come together, how is that going to happen? And, amongst the tons of superhero films and television shows being made and released, when is there even the time for this to happen?! My best bet right now would be for The Punisher to appear with Spider-Man as soon as the Untitled Spider-Man Reboot project (Tom Holland's official debut film) is released on July 7, 2017. However, with that being so soon, it doesn't seem likely. So, what if things happened the other way around? What if Spider-Man joined in on a few episodes of the upcoming The Punisher Netflix show? Although that spin-off likely won't occur for a while (as Iron Fist, The Defenders, and more Netflix shows are in the works as well), it could happen.

That is... if it's possible to even bring a movie character that huge to the small-screen — and that doesn't seem to be a very common trend when it comes to members of The Avengers appearing on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Now I'm just feeling bummed.

While Tom Holland and Jon Bernthal being actor friends helping one another with their characters gives me hope, with a packed schedule of Marvel shows — and the Marvel theatrical releases being scheduled through 2020 — it does seem hard for this dream to come true. However, I don't want to rule it out. And while we may need to wait another 10-20 years for every one of the Marvel characters we love to come face-to-face with one another, it sure seems like Marvel is taking things in the right direction.

For now, fans can focus all of their obsessive energy towards happy things. Because, no matter what, the introductions of both Spider-Man and The Punisher (separately) on both the big and small screen is happening in 2016. Season 2 of the Netflix's series, Daredevil, premieres on March 18th and Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6th. It's time to revel in that joy. ...and I'll continue to worry about this later.

Images: Netflix US & Canada/YouTube; Giphy