The days are getting shorter and darker, but there's still some compensation. The latest Marvel-Netflix collaboration will be with us before the end of the year. But when will Marvel's The Punisher premiere on Netflix? The media giants are both clearly toying with audiences a little, since the latest trailer vaguely revealed "2017" at the close of the short. While it's nice to have that certainty that we'll be watching Netflix's take on Frank Castle before 2018, it's understandable that fans would also like to be able to pencil the TV event into a solid date on their calendars.
Comicbook.com have pointed out that, given Marvel's predilection for making "a big splash" during New York Comic Con (they cite the previous examples of the company gathering all of The Defenders cast onstage and announcing that Sigourney Weaver would be playing the villain during last year's event), an educated guess might lead you to suspect they'll drop a premiere of the series at the event. NYCC takes place between October 5 and October 8, and, if Netflix makes all of the series available then, fans can go home and marathon watch. Comicbook.com has specifically pinpointed the night of October 7, which, sure is a great marathon watching evening: a Saturday.
It's a nice theory and Deadline has already confirmed that The Punisher will be "making an appearance at New York Comic Con," but an October date seems a little unlikely. No matter how hyped it is, it's still the first season of The Punisher, which makes it hard for the show to compete with an established favorite. Given the sheer hype and great reviews with which Stranger Things was greeted, nothing could be stranger (ho, ho) than Netflix choosing to pit two of its biggest series against each other. October already looks all sorts of packed for the streaming channel's schedule, with cult favorites Haters Back Off and Slasher: Guilty Party back for their second seasons.
Realistically, November feels more likely. And that's not just a hunch. One of the episodes' directors, Dearbhla Walsh, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the property and seemed to inadvertently drop a release month in. She talked about directing "an episode for the new Marvel series The Punisher, which I did just before Christmas, but it's not airing until November." So, yeah, November's looking pretty likely. It's worth noting that the first series of Jessica Jones was released in November to rapturous reviews, so, if they're looking to recreate the success of that series, they already have their winning formula. And since, just like Jessica Jones, The Punisher has 13 episodes, it could very well be that this is the tack Marvel is taking.
But if you want to examine all the evidence, one could also protest that hey, wait a second, isn't Marvel already releasing Runaways in November (albeit on Hulu)? As such, while October might not make so much sense for Netflix, a November release isn't exactly ideal for them, either. Besides which, if the whole marketing strategy is about building hype by not revealing the release date — see: the blacked out dates in the tweet — then wouldn't it make sense to defy audience expectations by releasing it basically any time aside from November, since, thanks to Walsh, this information is readily available online?
Ultimately, there's no clear answers on this one and it could just as easily be October or November. However, if you're simply making an educated guess based on the marketing, The Punisher will probably premiere in November. After all, it wasn't listed on Netflix's list of what's coming to the streaming service in October, and, though it could be a mid-month surprise, all signs seem to be pointing to a very punishing November for us all — but in a good way.