The Punisher's Story Can't End With 'Daredevil'

by Marisa LaScala

In terms of adapting comic book characters, The Punisher is a tough one to pull off. Without any superpowers, no commitment to not killing people, and nothing but a skull t-shirt for a costume, he really can come off as a psycho vigilante with a van full of guns — and psycho vigilantes with vans full of guns are tough to love. That's why it's a safer bet to introduce him as a side character in another series. After all, Marvel's tried twice to bring The Punisher to the big screen, and neither go resulted in a successful franchise. So, it's savvy to include Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, on Daredevil as a foil for Matt Murdock when Season 2 hits Netflix on March 18. But is that it for him, or will The Punisher get his own series too?

Well, those big-screen Punisher movies didn't work out, but that doesn't mean the vigilante won't get a series. Michael Ausiello at TVLine reported that a Punisher television series is in development and Netflix is "thisclose to pulling the trigger" on it, though the streaming service has not confirmed this and did not provide comment to TVLine. Here's everything we know about Netflix's version of Frank Castle so far, just in case we end up seeing more of him after Daredevil.

He's Played By Jon Bernthal

The Walking Dead star will try and make his mark where Thomas Jane, Ray Stevenson, and, well, Dolph Lundgren have (unsuccessfully) tread before. He seems like he has the right rough-around-the-edges vibe to pull it off.

He's Really Not The Main Attraction in Daredevil

Don't worry, The Punisher won't hijack Daredevil in an attempt to launch a second series. "We wanted to make sure everything runs through Matt," showrunner Marco Ramirez told Collider. "It could easily become The Punisher story or the Elektra story that Matt cameos in, and not vice versa. So, we built it like a Matt story, in terms of what we wanted to put him through, where we wanted to get him by the end of the season, and what we wanted to have him learn about himself, and we used an Elektra and Frank story throughout to get him there." The Daredevil lovers out there don't have to worry about a stolen limelight.

Daredevil Will Embrace His Trickiness

Daredevil's showrunners know that, even as far as anti-heroes go, The Punisher is a tough sell. “Viewers watching the show will be rooting for this guy with a gun but we’re also going to force people — the way we force Matt — to second-guess themselves,” showrunner Doug Petrie told Entertainment Weekly. “Taking lethal justice into your own hands in America in 2015 is tricky s–t. We have not shied away from the rich complicated reality of Now.” I'm glad they recognize the character's inherent ickiness.

He's Got Layers

Bernthal gave a little bit of insight into the character in a different interview with Entertainment Weekly. "[He's] a man who put his on the line and really went through the ultimate sacrifice for this country in his involvement in the military," Bernthal said. "He’s a guy who brought the war home with him [in] the worst possible way. There are a lot of iterations of this character and in all of them it’s a man who’s gone through this unbelievable trauma and what’s interesting about our take on him is how this trauma reshapes his own philosophy." He also hinted that there's more to Frank Castle than you'll be able to see at the beginning of the new season of Daredevil.

Hopefully, we'll get to see more of the Punisher even after the Season 2 finale of Daredevil. With a character so complex, a supporting role in one season of another series doesn't seem like enough.

Images: Patrick Harbron/Netflix; Giphy (5)